Thus says the Lord: "A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children, because they are no more." Jeremiah 31:15
In Orlando and throughout our land, we hear the prophet's voices of lamentation and bitter weeping as we absorb the horrific news of 50 lives lost and 53 more seriously wounded. Our hearts break for all the dead, wounded, and traumatized by this carnage, and pray for God's strength and consoling mercies.
To our friends of the LGBT community, know that we love you and walk alongside you in your grief and pain, which is all the more searing following an attack in a presumed safe space during LGBT Pride month. Your tears are our tears. You will find shelter in our churches.
To our Muslim sisters and brothers, know that our support for you remains strong. We know that the hatred that fuels such violence is a perversion of the Muslim faith, and we remain your friends and interfaith partners.
To our fellow citizens of a nation once again scarred by gun violence, know that the killings in Orlando reinforce our resolve to work with Congress, state legislators, and law enforcement officials to rid America's cities and towns of the weapons of war. We have seen too many killings, shed too many tears, lit too many candles to continue as we are. With such easy access to guns, no safe spaces remain.
This week, we will toll the mourning bell of the Cathedral for the lives lost in Orlando. This week, we will grieve and ready our resolve. This week and beyond, we will pray for a peaceable kingdom and work toward a world no longer haunted by the threats of terrorism, gun violence and hatred. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde
Bishop of Washington
Episcopal Diocese of Washington