Saturday, December 5, 2015 … O antiphon for breaking the silence

Adonai is one of the traditional O antiphon names. Today I became aware as I was writing liturgy for Break the Silence Sunday in Wisconsin (they would love your liturgy at Breakthesilencesunday@gmail.com) that Adonai is a hidden name — one of those things people know but do not say. In our era that doesn’t apply to holy words – they are all too glibly prevalent — but to the stories of those who are raped and abused.)

O Adonai, of the hidden name,
you kiss children
such kisses
they desperately long for –

children born with AIDS
or addictions,
children torn apart by custody cases,
innocents of new holy land wars,
crossers of borders
who are made unwelcome.

Hold also tenderly in your hands,
those who cannot
bear a kiss
those who have asked for a fish
and been given a snake,

children, young women, men —imgres-1
raped and abused,
those who suffer incest,
unwanted touching,
cyber shaming, date rape,
those harmed or disbelieved
into silence
threatened for secrets,
heart-sick mute.

Wrap them in the least invasive
come-unto-me,
and teach us to hand them always
a cup of cool listening. Amen.

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5 Responses to Saturday, December 5, 2015 … O antiphon for breaking the silence

  1. sugruerm says:

    Moving and relevant

  2. rezrevres says:

    Yesterday was one of my days to volunteer as Elder at the local jail, and so many of the men and women I talked with were themselves the victims of the very circumstances you mention in your Antiphon, Maren. When will society ever learn that from every vantage point it is much more effective as well as compassionate, to heal those broken by circumstances beyond their control, than it is to wait until they lash-out and become offenders who must then be punished.

  3. Stephen says:

    As a therapist working with sexual offenders, and a pastor who deals often with victims, I cannot agree more with rezrevres comment above. The task of holding in one hand the horror of what many of these people have done, and in the other, what was done to them so that healing may come….is agonizing. But it is the task that the Church is called to. This is a beautiful prayer Maren and I am so grateful both for your writing and for your pastoral work. Shalom

  4. Maren says:

    Amen, Matthew! We do need to commit ourselves to making a start and breaking the cycle and I am guessing that Moira Finley who is organizing this Break the Silence day in Wisconsin sees that speaking these things if the only place to begin.

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