Bishops offer ‘Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting’

Posted Nov 8, 2018

[Bishops United Against Gun Violence] In response to the mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, Bishops United Against Gun Violence today released “Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting”  to commemorate the dead, comfort their loved ones, and honor survivors and first responders. “[W]e do so,” the bishops wrote, “with the reminder that one does not pray in lieu of summoning political courage, but in preparation for doing so.”

Bishops United is a group of more than 80 Episcopal bishops working to curtail the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.

Much of what can be said in the wake of such appalling carnage has been said,” the bishops wrote. “It was said after the mass shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and it was said after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the two devastating events that brought Bishops United Against Gun Violence into being. And it was said most recently after the anti-Semitic massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, just 12 days ago. Mass shootings occur so frequently in our country that there are people who have survived more than one.

“While the phrase “thoughts and prayers” might have become devalued by elected leaders who believe speaking these words discharges their duty in the wake of a massacre, we nonetheless believe that we are called to pray for the dead, those who mourn them and those who respond to the scene of mass shootings.”

Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting is available online at: