A Liturgy for the Incarcerated

Thank you to @blackliturgies for sharing this powerful post:

COVID-19 cases among the incarcerated is 5 times higher than the free US population.  

In many places, the imprisoned are confined to their cells for 23 hours a day.  

Our overcrowded justice system makes social distancing impossible.

“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering”–Hebrews 13

God of the captives,

We confess that we have become numb to those whose lives are contained to cells behind bars.  Forgive us.  Help our empathy, not that it would be confined to those we see each day but to those who we don’t see.  Those who have been pushed to the perimeters of society–a cruelty hidden in plain sight.  God, make us see them.  Restore our hearts to compassion and mercy, that we would not delight in the diminishing of their dignity.  As we lament this pandemic and the limits it has imposed to our lives, let us carry the laments of the forgotten and unseen.  Those who are now in cells for 23 hours a day.  Those who have been denied books and items for mental and physical flourishing.  Those who are trapped in places of extreme risk and outbreaks.  Dismantle every cruel system and policy.  Dethrone the powers that delight in and benefit from their captivity, and grant us imagination for a true rehabilitation.  We will not find You apart from them.  Trauma is not the path to repair.

Our Changed Choices clients echo these restrictions–23 hours a day in their cell, showering every three days, and limited opportunities for interaction.  Please keep them in your prayers.

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