Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

A Litany in the Aftermath of Gun Violence


Even in a world filled with violence, the mass shooting in Maine last evening stands out. Families out bowling and folks at a neighborhood bar were killed without warning. As the retired Bishop of Maine, this mass shooting hits close to home.

According to The New York Times, this is the eighth mass shooting this year. I offer for your personal or corporate prayers a Litany I composed for Bishops United Against Gun Violence some years ago. You may amend or adapt it as appropriate.

Trusting in the mercy of God, faithfully,

A Litany in the Aftermath of Gun Violence

Revised by the author, the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Retired Episcopal Bishop of Maine, Bishop Provisional of Rochester, 2.28.18, 10.26.23

Permission is granted to amend or adjust as necessary.


Giver of Life and Love, you created all people as one family and called us to live together in peace. Surround us with your love as we face again the tragedy of gun violence.


For the children and adults who were killed in Lewiston, ME, the brave ones who died protecting others, the many who were wounded and hospitalized, the traumatized, grieving survivors, and those known to you alone, Loving God,


Make us instruments of your peace.


God of Righteousness, you have granted our leaders, especially Joseph our President, and Janet, Governor of Maine, the members of Congress and of our courts and legislatures, power and responsibility to protect us, and to uphold our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Strengthen their devotion to our common life and give them clarity of purpose.


For all who bear such responsibility, for all who struggle to discern what is right in the face of powerful political forces, Loving God,


Make us instruments of your peace.


God of Compassion, we give you thanks for first responders: police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and all those whose duties bring them to the streets, the schools, the malls and the homes where the carnage of gun violence takes place every day. Give them courage and sound judgment in the heat of the moment and grant them compassion for the victims.


For our brothers and sisters who risk their lives and serenity as they rush to our aid, Loving God,


Make us instruments of your peace.


Merciful God, bind up the wounds of all who suffer from gun violence, those maimed and disfigured, those left alone and grieving, and those who struggle to get through one more day. Bless them with your presence and help them find hope.


For all whose lives are forever changed and broken by the scourge of gun violence, Loving God,


Make us instruments of your peace.

*[God of Repentance and Forgiveness, we hold before you the one who fired the

weapon and seek your grace for transformation. We cannot forgive - not yet - but we trust in

your power to make all things new.


For those who from malice or illness are the instruments of violence and death, Loving God,


Make us instruments of your peace.]


God Who Remembers, may we not forget all those who have died this year in the gun violence that we have allowed to become routine. Receive them into your heart and comfort us with your promise of eternal love and care.


For all who have died, those who die today, and those who will die tomorrow, Loving God,


Make us instruments of your peace.


*[God of Tender Mercy, be with those who are overwhelmed, enraged, frustrated and demoralized by the plague of gun violence. Give them a sense of your presence and plant in them the seed of hope.


For those whose hope for life in this world is shattered and broken, Loving God,


Make us instruments of your peace.]


God of Justice, help us, your church, find our voice. Turn us from the worship of power. Give

us courage to confront our false gods and to protest the needless deaths caused by gun

violence. Help us rise above our dread that nothing can be done and grant us the conviction

to advocate for change.


For your dream of a world where children are safe and all of us live together without fear,

Loving God

Make us instruments of your peace.

All this we pray in the name of the one who offered his life so that we might live, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.