Monday, 29 May 2017

Manchester Vigil Words

I was asked to lead a vigil for Manchester on Friday 26th of May. The vigil was to have opening words and a short prayer before a time of vigil.

Here is what I said:

Words of Welcome

This evening we gather
To stand in solidarity with the people of Manchester
In the wake of the bomb that exploded
In the foyer of the Manchester Evening News Arena
On the night of Monday the 22nd of May
Following an Ariana Grande concert.
The bomb has cost the lives of 22 people
It caused physical injuries to 116 people
It has caused unimaginable emotional distress to thousands of people
And it has touched the lives of millions around the world

This evening we gather
To mourn for those who have died
To grieve with those who grieve
To remember those whose lives have been torn apart
To give thanks for the emergency services and medical teams
To acknowledge our gratitude for the thousands of good deeds that sprung up in Manchester, like wild flowers in the face of tragedy:
For taxi drivers offering free lifts,
For local residents hosting strangers
For passersby caring for the injured and bereaved
For a city drawn together as one

This evening we gather
To stand with the people of Manchester
As a witness to the truth that love conquers hatred
And hope overcomes fear
We stand in solidarity with and for the people of Manchester
To affirm that the Light shines in the darkness
And the darkness cannot overcome it

Opening Prayer

As our vigil begins, let us pray:

Merciful God,
Architect of righteousness and peace
Draw near to all whose lives have been affected by the Manchester bombing
Grant eternal rest and peace to those who have lost their lives
Look with mercy on those who grieve and give strength to those who mourn,
That they might be empowered to face each new day in the wake of such horror
Strengthen those who are injured and pour out your healing, your rest and your peace upon them.
Merciful God, draw near to the people of Manchester and instill in them a resolve to stand firm in the face of hatred.
We pray all this, in the name of Jesus.

The vigil is observed, wreathes, candles, flowers are laid, silence is kept

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