nathanjhill.com

writing, reflecting, and hoping for a transformed world

Note: I wrote this #litany for a Holy Saturday vigil before Easter. Feel free to edit it, adjusting language and adding stanzas as your context asks. We did not do the dramatic black tape bit, but it's a creative visual thought – though it could be uncomfortable in some contexts and with some readers.

Clergy: In the stillness of this day, we open our hearts to You and to those who suffer. We enter into this time of prayer for those who have been silenced to be centered in our prayers and lament. Many: Hear our prayers, God of Justice.

Reader One: For grieving families who have lost loved ones, who are afraid to show their pain and tears, who feel alone and estranged, who lack hope in days and years to come. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Two: For nations and communities ripped apart by war and violence, who witness neighbor turning against neighbor, who cannot return to their homes, who are afraid of retaliation and persecution. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Three: For those human beings who are made poor, who experience hunger and need, who have been turned away from opportunities and resources, who have been told they do not deserve generosity. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Four: For those of all ages who have been judged and discriminated against, for who they are and who they love, for being different or not meeting society’s definitions of perfection, for living unafraid into who God created them to be. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Five: For our groaning, sick Creation, for the destruction wrought by pollution and rising temperatures, for the poisoning of communities, rivers, and landscapes, for the lack of respect given to this earth that feeds and sustains life. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

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