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Weeping with Those Who Weep 

(Photo: Sue Careless)

AFTER the horrific tragedies this past April in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and on Yonge Street in North York, there is again a deep ache for words that will express something of our communal anguish and fears but also bring some measure of comfort and consolation. The Book of Common Prayer, founded as it is so firmly on Scripture, has much to offer.


A Liturgy of Lament with Prayers of Consolation

Selected and Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer 

IN the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord? (601)

O GOD the Father;

Graciously hear us.

O God the Son;

Graciously hear us.

O God the Holy Spirit;

Graciously hear us.

O Most Holy Trinity, one God;

Graciously hear us.

Behold, O Lord, these thy servants in great peril, and in thy loving mercy,

Good Lord, deliver them.  (588)

FROM all evil and mischief; from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness, from battle and murder, and from sudden death,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thine Agony and bloody Sweat; by thy Cross and Passion; by thy precious Death and Burial,

Good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of tribulation; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgement,

Good Lord, deliver us.

To preserve all that travel under duress, all women labouring of child, all sick persons and young children; and to show thy pity upon all prisoners and captives,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To defend, and provide for, all widows and orphans, and all who are desolate and oppressed,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bless and keep all thy people,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To strengthen such as do stand; to encourage the faint-hearted; to raise up those who fall; and finally to beat down Satan under our feet,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To succour, help, and comfort all that are in danger, necessity, and tribulation,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,

We beseech thee, good Lord.


SON of God, we beseech thee to hear us.

Son of God, we beseech thee to hear us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world;

Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world;

Grant us thy peace.

O Christ, hear us.

O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.       (From the Litany pp. 30-35)

Minister and People. O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

Minister. O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the time before them.

Minister and People. O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thine honour.

Minister. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

People. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Minister and People. O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

From our enemies defend us, O Christ;

Graciously look upon our afflictions.

Pitifully behold the sorrows of our hearts;

Mercifully forgive the sins of thy people.

Favourably with mercy hear our prayers;

O Son of David, have mercy upon us.

Both now and ever vouchsafe to hear us, O Christ;

Graciously hear us, O Christ; graciously hear us, O Lord Christ.

Minister. O Lord, let thy mercy be shown upon us;

People. As we do put our trust in thee.

WE humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon our infirmities; grant that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness and pureness of living, to thy honour and glory; through our only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, merciful Father, that despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, nor the desire of such as be sorrowful: Mercifully assist our prayers that we make before thee in all our troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress us; and graciously hear us, that those evils, which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against us, be brought to nought; and by the providence of thy goodness they may be dispersed; that we thy servants, being hurt by no persecutions, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (A Supplication pp. 35-37)

ALMIGHTY God, who art afflicted in the afflictions of thy people: Regard with thy tender compassion those in anxiety and distress; bear their sorrows and their cares; supply all their manifold needs; and help both them and us to put our whole trust and confidence in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (54)

O GOD, who makest nothing in vain and lovest all that thou hast made: Comfort thou thy servants, whose hearts are sore smitten and oppressed; and grant that they may so love and serve thee in this life, that they may obtain the fulness of thy promises in the world to come; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (575) 

Minister. O Lord, save thy servants;

People. Who putteth their trust in thee.

Minister. Send them help from thy holy place;

People. And evermore mightily defend them.

Minister. Be unto them a strong tower;

People. From the face of the enemy.

Minister. O Lord, hear our prayer;

People. And let our cry come unto thee. (577)


Minister. O Saviour of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us;

People. Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.  (598)


GOD of all grace and power: Behold, visit, and relieve these thy servants; look upon them with the eyes of thy mercy, give them comfort and sure confidence in thee, defend them in all danger, and keep them in perpetual peace and safety; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (577)


ALMIGHTY God, giver of health and healing: Grant to these thy servants such a sense of thy presence that they may have perfect trust in thee. In all their suffering may they cast their cares upon thee, so that, enfolded in thy love and power, they may receive from thee health and salvation according to thy gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (580)

BLESSED are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. St Matthew 5:4


O HEAVENLY Father, whose Blessed Son Jesus Christ did weep at the grave of Lazarus, his friend: Look, we beseech thee, with compassion upon those who are now in sorrow and affliction; comfort them, O Lord, with thy gracious consolations; make them to know that all things work together for good to them that love thee; and grant them evermore sure trust and confidence in thy fatherly care; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (600)


ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort: Deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (600)

GIVE rest, O Christ, to thy servants with thy Saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting; where thou, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen. (600)

O FATHER of all, we pray to thee for those whom we love but see no longer. Grant them thy peace; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (601)

BE mindful, O Lord, of thy people bowed before thee, and of those who are absent through age, sickness, or infirmity. Care for the infants, guide the young, support the aged, encourage the faint-hearted, collect the scattered, and bring the wandering to thy fold. Travel with the voyagers, defend the widows, shield the orphans, deliver the captives, heal the sick. Succour all who are in tribulation, necessity, or distress. Remember for good all those that love us, and those that hate us, and those that have desired us, unworthy as we are, to pray for them. And those whom we have forgotten, do thou, O Lord, remember. For thou art the Helper of the helpless, the Saviour of the lost, the Refuge of the wanderer, the Healer of the sick. Thou, who knowest each man’s need, and hast heard his prayer, grant unto each according to thy merciful loving-kindness and thy eternal love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (57)

THEY that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength. Isaiah 40: 31.

THE eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33: 27.

IN nothing be anxious: but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6, 7.

The Lord’s Prayer & Psalm 23 (356)

UNTO God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you. The LORD bless you, and keep you. The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace, both now and evermore. Amen. (585)   TAP

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