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Prayer for the People of Norway After a Terrorist Attack

We cannot absorb the horror, or the reasons given, O God.

So many youth gathered at a camp, having fun,
learning about life and leadership in their country,
gunned down…
or the women and men whose lives ceased
when a car became a bomb in downtown Oslo:
the madness of it all is truly mystery.

Mystery deeper than madness, Redeemer from evil,
we turn to you with simplest words we have
in times like these:

"Hear us."
We have few coherent words, so hear our sighs,
the groaning of our souls with sisters and brothers
near or far away
who have lost so much, so fast and so senselessly.

Hear us.

"Christ, have mercy."
Mercy to comfort the wounded and grieving,
mercy to allay fear in Norway and everywhere,
mercy even to forgive the madman
if that can make him whole.
Christ, have mercy.

"Jesus, remember."
put back together—
a body sorely sundered.
Give wisdom to all who now must re-stitch
the people of Norway, deeply wounded,
as they pursue the channels of justice
to set not only penalties, but pathways
for safety and restoration for their people.
Jesus, remember.

For the dead, we pray:
Holy Jesus, who takes away the sins of the world,
let them rest in peace.

For the living we pray:
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
grant us peace.

With all creation, groaning in labor pains for the fulfillment of your reign
we pray.
"Even so, come Lord Jesus." Amen.

Please also see "Ache and Sorrow for the People of Norway" and "Brand New Mourning."

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