Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vigil for Connecticut

I was asked to lead a candle light vigil , in response the CT tragedy,  last night in Swampscott MA.  Here are my notes.
Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.  ~William Shakespeare
It is a brisk early winter evening here in New England.
And we stand here united in sacred posture and in solidarity with our neighbors in Connecticut.
Some who are in this very moment enduring a sadness and grief so profound that their lives will be forever changed.
We gather as members of a community, a community not unlike Newtown CT.  Those things that often divide us matter not in moments like this.
Opinion after opinion that we hold tight to on a normal day we let go of on a day like this.
Sorrow makes us all children again - destroys all differences of intellect.  The wisest know nothing.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we gather with sad hearts, may we not miss the sweetness that exists simply in having each other.

Moments of silence can be hard because our minds are always going and its can be hard to slow down.
1. Silent prayers or simple compassionate contemplation for the families impacted by Friday’s tragic event.
2.  Silently list and think about the things in your life that you are thankful for

3.  A moment of silence as we consider ways in which can bring greater peace to specific situations in our own lives and relationships in the hope that we would live differently in tribute to those who have lost lives and loved ones.

I am standing on the sea shore,
A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says:
"She is gone."
 Gone! Where?
Gone from my sight - that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone",
There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes"
- and that is dying.  An horizon and just the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, Oh Lord, that we may see further.
Bishop Brent
1862 - 1926
"All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming it."
- Helen Keller

God we call on you in this moment to bring Your promised strength and peace to our neighbors in Connecticut.
As we wrestle with questions and wide range of emotions we pray for clarity and for a deeper gratitude for the blessings in our lives that we often take for granted.   Amen