A Call to Prayer: Services of Lament Following Shootings in Alexandria

This morning, as gunshots rang out over a baseball field in Alexandria, the violence and division we’ve seen all over the world was witnessed within the confines of our own Diocese. Five people -- a congressman, a congressional staffer and members of the Capitol Police -- were wounded and the assailant killed at a practice session for a charity baseball game.

Services of Lament, Hope and Healing will be held tonight at 7 p.m. at Christ Church, Alexandria, and at St. Mark’s, Richmond. Bishop Edwin “Ted” Gulick will be present at the service at Christ Church, and Bishop Susan Goff at the one at St. Mark’s. Bishop Shannon Johnston will offer his prayers from Nairobi, where he is attending a meeting of Anglican and Episcopal bishops.

Whether or not you can attend one of these services and wherever you are, the Bishops of Virginia invite all members of our Diocese to pray tonight at 7 p.m. for the victims of this violence, for their families and for all those impacted by today’s shooting. We also pray for the will to work together across partisan lines to end this kind of violence.

A joint statement from the Bishops of Virginia and the Bishop of Washington will be released later today.

Please join those at Christ Church and St. Mark’s in prayer, whether or not you can attend the service.

The Bishops of Virginia

The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston

The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff

The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick


The Bishops commend these words of prayer:

 From Christ Church, Alexandria:

We lift our prayer today for those injured in the shooting incident in Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia, particularly Steve Scalise, Zach Barth, Roger Williams, Matt Mika, David Bailey and Krystal Griner. We also raise our prayers to God for those who rushed in to help, particularly the U.S. Capitol Police, Alexandria Police and medical personnel, who regularly put their own lives in jeopardy in order to protect and save the lives of others. We grieve for our communities, for innocence lost and for a delicate peace broken. We pray for the shooter and for the anger and brokenness that led him to believe that violence was his only recourse.

We place our hope and faith in a God that loves us and grieves with us as we move through this world with new eyes and new understanding. We also place our hope in the knowledge that by the power of God’s grace we are better and can do better for one another.

 A Prayer for the Human Family (BCP, page 815)

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen