Remembering the martyrs of Charleston

150619214529-crowds-at-charleston-church-large-169Today at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, the service focused on the tragedy at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Bells rang nine times, nine candles glowed on the altar and the Bishop of the Diocese of Texas sent a powerful special prayer:

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your Martyrs of Charleston. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, sheep of your own fold, lambs of your own flock, sinners of your own redeeming. Receive them into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen

Holy God, we confess to you our sin of indifference to the affliction of your people, our sin of silence in the face of oppression, our sin of complicity in a culture of racism. Let us remember that all lives matter. Use your churches and all communities of faith to bring into being that beloved community where all your children are treated with dignity, love and high regard. This very day give us wisdom and determination to turn our prayers into actions to stand with those who weep and wail, to heal those who are driven by ignorance and hate, and to end the culture of violence that afflicts us all. In Jesus name we ask this. Amen. 

Faithfully,

The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle

IX Bishop of Texas