The United Church of Canada expresses outrage and sorrow at the attacks on people gathered for worship and celebration in Sri Lanka this weekend. We offer our deep sympathy and prayers for the families and communities of the victims, and for healing for those who were wounded.

We join partners and many around the world in condemning this horrific act of violence, and in resisting the idea that hatred and brutality could be a faithful response to any religious conviction. We pray that those who perpetrate such acts might experience the conversion of mind and heart that leads away from justifying brutal violence as a means of achieving their aims. We pray that throughout the world people of faith and good will continue in efforts to build relationships of respect with neighbours of different faiths, and that together we can work at mending the broken world that gives rise to such acts of terror.

In sorrow and solidarity we pray:

For your people of St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo;
God, hear our prayers.

For your people of St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo;
God, hear our prayers.

For your people of the Zion Church in Batticoloa;
God hear our prayers.

For those who were staying at the Shangri-La, 
the Cinnamon Grand 
and the Kingsbury in Colombo;
God hear our prayers.

For all the people of Sri Lanka;
God hear our prayers.

And in your love,
by your love,
and with your powerful love,
transform your world, we pray;
that we might be people
who carry your healing peace,
your healing hope,
your ever-present grace;
in Sri Lanka,
in Canada,
in all places and times—
as people of the Resurrection.

Amen, amen, and amen.

By the Right Rev. Richard Bott. Originally posted on Facebook. Moderator Bott encourages the sharing of prayers he posts throughout his term.