UN International Migrants Day
Monday, December 18, 2017 has been designated by the United Nations as International Migrants Day. The following is a litany which I wrote and which we will be using during a vigil and civic action today in front of the ICE office in our city.
Litany for the Vigil
Form a semi-circle. Each group of 2 can share a page – one person reading Part A and the other person reading Part B. (The idea is to have the people arranged ABABAB…). Leader A and Leader B will help to guide the group reading.
Group A: God, bless our feet which have journeyed for so many miles. Will they take us to a place of safety, a place of welcome, a place to call home?
Group B: God, give our feet strength to accompany our brothers and sisters who have fled from their homelands, fled from violence, from famine, from persecution.
Group A: God, bless our legs. We wait, we stand in lines, we stand beside walls, we stand outside doors.
Group B: God, give our legs strength to stand in solidarity, alongside those who wait to find a safe place to rest, a safe place to call home.
Group A: God, bless our bellies, pregnant with dreams for our families.
Group B: God, give us courage in our stomachs to defend the rights and dreams of children.
Group A: God, bless our arms, tired from carrying our children and bundles of few possessions.
Group B: God, strengthen our arms so we can reach out in welcome.
Group A: God, bless our hands as we knock on doors, seeking shelter, seeking safety, seeking work.
Group B: God, give our hands strength to work for justice and to open doors.
Group A: God, bless our voices as we ask for help, as we ask for refuge, as we ask to be united with our mothers, fathers, sons and daughters
Group B: God, strengthen our voices to speak words of kindness to newcomers and to defend the rights of families, especially those most in need of care.
Group A: God, bless our ears to help us understand new languages and new cultures.
Group B: God, strengthen our ears to help us listen to new stories, new languages and new cultures and to hear and understand words spoken by those who are lost or lonely.
Group A: God, bless our minds as we struggle to understand new rules, a new bureaucracy, and a new legal system.
Group B: God, strengthen our minds to help us accompany our new neighbors in their migration journeys.
Together: God, bless and strengthen our hearts as we work together to support families. Touch the hearts of law-makers and law-enforcement officials so they make decisions in support of family unity. Protect mothers and fathers and children, as you protected Mary, Joseph and Jesus who were migrants and refugees in a strange land.