When One Door Opens Another Door Opens — Litany for an Immigration Vigil

Today I joined with so many others in front of the Norris Cotton Federal Building in Manchester, NH in support of immigrants seeking stays of deportation, asylum and hope. There are many stories — they are American stories.What follows was my contribution — that I send out to resource others with similar ventures — adapt, abridge — do what you wish but please show up, speak up and pray up!

Introduction to Litany: There is an old saying so often repeated that some people think repetition makes it true. The saying is – when one door closes, another door opens. Perhaps occasionally that may be true, but it is certainly true that sometimes when one door closes, a lot of other doors slam shut. That happens for many new Americans and may have been an experience of some folks who come today for their appointments.

It surely is true that — when one door opens, another door has a chance to open, followed by another and another. So, we look directly at the door of this building where our neighbors will be coming soon and in our litany today the response line is:

When one door opens, another door opens. 

Litany

May our hearts and homes, our streets and playgrounds, our schools and churches welcome our neighbors and our new neighbors.

When one door opens, another door opens.

May our schools and workplaces be enriched by openness to the gifts and insights of those newly come to this country.

When one door opens, another door opens.

May our faith communities be strengthened by interfaith conversation.
May we pray together.

When one door opens, another door opens.

May our compassion be informed by the experiences of those who have given and received care, and may our struggles for justice be empowered by those who have worked for change in places far away.

When one door opens, another door opens.

May restaurant doors open that all may taste the world. May books be translated into English and from English, so that knowledge is shared. May art be seen, poetry be heard and dances set our feet tapping.

When one door opens, another door opens.

May our words and actions open the minds of those who hesitate to offer hospitality to someone from another country because of fear of a different religion, fear for their own job security or the job security of children or grandchildren, confused and formless (but very real) fears implanted by malicious and self-serving politicians, or the simple discomfort of meeting someone with a new language, faith or custom.

When one door opens, another door opens.

May we boldly go where every idiom has gone before!!!
May it be said of each of us that we don’t “darken the door” — but rather we “lighten the door.” May it be said of our new neighbors not that they have “a foot in the door,” but that they have “a heart in the door.” May it be said of the leaders of this country that they “make better doors than windows” – for we want not a view but a way in to this nation for political refugees and economic refugees, for those who need healing or education and those who can offer healing and education, and for mothers and fathers and children and grandparents and cousins — families that need to be made whole again!

When one door opens, another door opens.

May this Norris Cotton Federal Building, 275 Chestnut St, Manchester New Hampshire, be for those who come today — the first open door of many in a house of hope.

When one door opens, another door opens.

Song — Somebody’s Knocking at your Door (tune spiritual / traditional)

Refrain (only use at beginning and end if too long)
Somebody’s knocking at your door;
somebody’s knocking at your door;
O, Neighbor, why don’t you answer?
Somebody’s knocking at your door. 

1) Knocks like a stranger. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
Could be a new friend. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
O, Neighbor, why don’t you answer?
Somebody’s knocking at your door.

2) Wants to stay with fam’ly. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
Wants to walk in freedom. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
O, Neighbor, why don’t you answer?
Somebody’s knocking at your door.

3) Wants to make a home here. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
Wants to pray and work here. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
O Neighbor, why don’t you answer?
Somebody’s knocking at your door.

4) Let’s take the locks down. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
Open our hearts wide. Somebody’s knocking at your door.
O, Neighbor, why don’t you answer?
Somebody’s knocking at your door.

Somebody’s knocking at your door;
somebody’s knocking at your door;
O, Neighbor, why don’t you answer?
Somebody’s knocking at your door.

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4 Responses to When One Door Opens Another Door Opens — Litany for an Immigration Vigil

  1. Larry Trent says:

    Maren, as you can imagine, this post put a large lump in my throat. A subject so close to my heart. I hope I find a way to use it soon. Blessings!

  2. Maren says:

    Please pray Larry, the news is not good. ICE detained at least three people, while their family members wept in shock. And many others (20+) were told to return next month with plane tickets for their flights to their home countries. What we have been dreading is beginning to unfold.

  3. darla ledger says:

    Maren– I am beginning an immigration and faith study this Sunday and would like to use these resources for our opening of worship. May I use with attribution???

  4. Maren says:

    Absolutely. and A post “Pity party for the United States” is also a litany set up for one of these vigils. It is on the blog in June. thank you so much for caring.

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