Two prayers for and with mothers who have lost sons to police violence: The first, from Rev. Dr. Carolyn Boyd, was offered at the “Voices of Grief and Struggle” panel on December 9. Excerpts appear below, and the full prayer appears in the video. The second, from Virginia Spatz, was inspired by participation in the 4-1/2-hour “die in” at the Dept. of Justice on December 8 and written for the mothers’ delegation.
For Mama Warriors
from Rev. Carolyn Boyd
We are grateful for the opportunity to come together…
…we honor our Mama Warriors
who challenge us to do justice
when there seems no opportunity to be just
…we all feel the pain of injustice
we all feel the hands of a brutal and military police culture
hands of an insane and criminal injustice system
but yet we know that our lives are held together
the tapestries of our lives are held together by something bigger than ourselves
it is that great force that we call on today
We pray that our minds can experience
the joy of what it means to be there for someone else
Thank you Eternal Spirit
we ask that you would move this movement forward
that you would break down the powers of privilege and supremacy
we pray that in its place
you would raise up a people who are committed
even more to a community, to creating the beloved community…
breaking down despair
breaking down hate
breaking down fear…
If we understand
we’re all one heart
we all beat from the same mighty one heart
maybe our minds would be open to a new way of being together
Force of Love so move in us today that nothing stops us
that we will study war no more
and that we will honor no more prejudice, no more racism
and no more privilege
that we would honor your path
we would honor and protect life
Prayer based on Jewish tradition for the souls of Grieving Mothers’ Sons
Jewish memorial prayers ask that souls of the departed be bound up among the living. The living help in this process by doing acts of tzedakah – translated as charity, righteousness, or justice – in the name of their departed loved ones. In that spirit, I offer the following prayer
— Virginia Spatz
May the souls of
John Crawford III
and others lost to police violence
find eternal shelter and rest.
May each personal and communal act of remembrance
bring further solace to their mothers and others who loved these individuals in life.
May the myriad acts of protest for justice
conducted in their names
bind their souls more deeply among the living.
May each die-in act,
symbolically embodying the last moments of the departed,
bind their deaths more tightly into our national consciousness
and collective commitment to change.
As the souls of
John Crawford III
and too many others,
our brothers, our teachers,
rest in eternal Light.
May we continue to find
illumination in their everlasting brightness.
And let us say: Amen.