This week, members of The Seattle School community gathered in our chapel to sit together in prayer and lament for the victims of last weekend’s shooting in Orlando, and for all of those who are reeling in rage and fear in the wake of a place of safety and refuge being terrorized. Below is a copy of the liturgy that we shared. May this prayer offer solace, communion, strength, and an invitation out of silence.

In the early morning hours this past Sunday, a gunman entered the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. This was an act of violence targeting a gay nightclub that served as a refuge for the LGBTQ community in Orlando and its surrounding area. It must also be spoken that many of the victims were people of color, Black and Latinx individuals who came to Pulse because of Latin Night, one of the few places, if not the only place, where they could gather with friends, revel, and simply be more fully themselves. We gather as a community to stand in solidarity with those who grieve, with those who mourn, and with those who are impacted by the recent events here in our community.

We mourn the 49 lives that were lost to an act of violence perpetrated by one man.
We grieve with the families, both biological and chosen, who have lost loved ones.
We grieve with the city of Orlando where the violence and fear took place.
We grieve with a nation who is reminded, yet again, of how it has enabled another person’s fear and hate to result in death.

We stand with the victims and their families.
We stand with their community and our community.
We stand to bear their burden in Jesus’ name.

We resist narratives that too narrowly define people, communities, identities, and religions.
We resist narratives that externalize and divide, breeding Islamophobia and xenophobia.
We resist our numbness to another act of gun violence.
We resist our denial of a system of injustice and a climate of fear and bigotry and hate toward the LGBTQ community.

We pray for the victims and their families.
We pray for their community and our community.
We pray in the name of the Spirit to be near.

We confess our silence as people who are too often silent in the face of bias, bigotry, and injustice.
We confess our silence as people who often choose not to speak against theologies and politics that marginalize, divide, and oppress.
We confess that in our silence, systems of injustice and inequity continue.
We confess our silence.

We cry out for those who were lost.
We cry out for their families.
We cry out for their community and our own.
We cry out for justice and peace to come.

We declare together, oh Lord
With hearts breaking, eyes weeping, and souls stirring.
We will continue to stand and cry and weep with our brothers and sisters.
We will continue to make a place of peace for even our enemies at our table.
We will continue to open our doors and our hearts to those who enter them.
We will continue to seek to forgive as we have been forgiven.
We will continue to love in Jesus’ name, because you taught us that love conquers all.

We declare our love for you, our Sisters.
We declare our love for you, our Brothers.
We declare our love for you, our Siblings.
We declare our love for you, their families.
We declare our love as one body, one Lord, one faith.
We declare they do not grieve alone today.

Often events such as this impact us deeply. Our silence is a response to our disorientation. Silence houses our fears, anger, grief, and rage. Our silence creates space to simply be present with experiences. Silence must eventually be broken. Often we break our silence first with prayer, asking the Spirit to come. Prayers give us words that link experiences to impact and to meaning, which can and need to be taken into the world.

We invite you to join us in this space as we remember and speak aloud the names of those we have lost:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

The above liturgy was written and compiled by Richard Kim with input from Emily McBroom, and was inspired by and adapted from this liturgy by Leroy Barber, which was written in the wake of last year’s shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.