A Service of Prayer and Lament for all Victims of War, offered by EPF Nashville

A Service of Prayer and Lament for All Victims of War 

Today the Church joins together in the name and spirit of St. Oscar Romero

March 24, 2022

Dear Siblings in Christ:  

God commands us through Jesus Christ to love one another. In baptism, we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being. We are seeing daily the results of humanity's greed and desire for power. Having proclaimed ourselves to be wise, we have become fools and exchanged the truth of God for the lie. We have sown the wind and reaped a whirlwind, planted vanity and become vain. In this harvest of the fruits of wrath, let us lament and pray for the renewal of our commitments to peace. And so that we may honor our vows and pray for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and our own nation and all nations of the world, for wise and just leaders, and for all who suffer because of war and violence.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah 

This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 

In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth.It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”For the L ORD’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.

Hear what the Spirit says to the Church

Thanks be to God

Responsive Reading of Psalm 88

A Song. A Psalm of the Korahites. To the leader: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 O Lord, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence,

2 Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.

4 I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help,

5 like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave,

like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.

6 You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep.

7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves.Selah

8 You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape;

9 my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call on you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you.

10 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you?Selah

11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon?

12 Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.

14 O Lord, why do you cast me off? Why do you hide your face from me?

15 Wretched and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.[a]

16 Your wrath has swept over me; your dread assaults destroy me.

17 They surround me like a flood all day long; from all sides they close in on me.

18 You have caused friends and neighbors to shun me; my companions are in darkness.

Silence is kept

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I

say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be

acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the

evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only

those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that

much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?

Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is

perfect .

The Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

A Short Reading from the Last Sermons of St. Oscar Romero:

This is the fundamental thought of my preaching: nothing is so important to me as human life. Taking life is something so serious, so grave–more than the violation of any other human right–because it is the life of God’s children, and because bloodshed only negates love, awakens new hatreds, makes reconciliation and peace impossible.

Easter is itself now the cry of victory. No one can quench the life that Christ has resurrected. Neither death nor all the banners of death and hatred raised against him and against his church can prevail. He is the victorious one! Just as Christ will thrive in an unending Easter, so we must accompany him in a Lent and Holy Week of cross, sacrifice, martyrdom. As he said, blessed are they who are not scandalized by his cross.

Lent, thus, is a call to celebrate our redemption in that difficult combination of cross and victory. Our people are well prepared to do so these days: all that surrounds us proclaims the cross. But those who have Christian faith and hope know that behind this calvary of El Salvador lies our Easter, our resurrection. That is the Christian people’s hope…

“God’s reign is already present on our earth in mystery. When the Lord comes, it will be brought to perfection.”

That is the hope that inspires Christians. We know that every effort to better society, especially when injustice and sin are so ingrained, is an effort that God blesses, that God wants, that God demands of us.

Silence is kept

A Litany

We pray for your guidance to all peacemakers, on leaders who value peace, and on everyone who promotes nonviolent solutions to conflict. We pray for a speedy end to all violence and conflict around the world. God of peace and gentleness, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for the strength of heart and mind to look beyond ourselves and address the needs of our siblings, especially the women, children and men of the Ukraine who are caught in the shards of war, being battered under the waves of violence. 

We pray for an end to the cycles of violence that threaten our future. God of generosity and compassion, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for the Russian people, many who have stood up and protested the war and also those ‘enemies of peace, who are causing such pain, that they may live in unity, peace, and concord; and that all people may know justice and enjoy the perfect freedom that only God can give. 

We pray for those who have given their lives in our day and everyday and for those who will give their lives in the future to stand in solidarity with the oppressed of the world, God of liberty and freedom, Hear our prayer. 

We pray that the Holy Spirit may embrace in Her life giving hands the most vulnerable members of society and teach us to do the same. We also lament the growing disparity between the rich and poor knowing that militarism, racism, and greed are the causes of most of our woes, the ruin of our common life.

We ask for the grace and courage to strive for economic justice for all. God of all gifts and blessings, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for an end to militarism and war in our country and the world; that we will respect all people as precious children of God; and that the desire to dominate others wiill be forever banished from our hearts, our society, and our laws. 

God of fellowship, solidarity and equality, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for a reverence of creation; that we will have the tools and the will to conserve it; that we will use its bountiful resources in the service of others;

That we will become better stewards of all that has been entrusted to us. God of nature and the universe, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all immigrants, refugees, and pilgrims from around the world, especially those fleeing the Ukraine and for all countries offering hospitality to them,

That they may be welcomed in our midst and be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect. God of outcasts, wanderers, and cities of refuge, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all prisoners and captives; that a spirit of forgiveness may replace vengeance and retribution; and

That we, with all the destitute, lonely, and oppressed, may be restored to the fullness of God’s grace. God of absolution and mercy, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for the reconciliation of all people, and for the Church throughout the world, that it may be an instrument of your healing love.

God of outreach and restoration, Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all who have died already as a result of violence, war, disease or famine, especially those who died because of human blindness, neglect, or hardness of heart. 

God of eternal life and resurrecting love, Hear our prayer. 

Silence is Kept


We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

And we pray that our unity will one day be restored

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side

We will work with each other, we will work side by side

And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

And we pray that our unity will one day be restored

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love

Almighty God, you have promised to hear what we ask in the name of your Son. Watch over our world now and in the days ahead, guide our leaders and all leaders, guide them in all knowledge and truth and make your ways known among all people. In the passion of protest and reform, give us all open and receptive spirits; in the complexities involved in true peace, give us courageous hearts. Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ. 


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