Once again communities in Canada have been struck by inexplicable violence. Once again someone has lashed out at the world around them with arson and murder across a swath of Nova Scotia near Halifax. The death toll makes it the worst mass murder event in Canadian history.
Even as Canadians are coping with the anxiety and fear created by the stealth of COVID-19, we are devastated by these acts of seemingly random violence. Our hearts first go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have been killed or injured. We remember in particular the family of Corporal Heidi Stevenson, the RCMP Officer, killed trying to stop the perpetrator and to her colleague wounded and in hospital. We remember all the communities in Nova Scotia touched directly by this event. We remember the family of the perpetrator in their pain.
As we remember we turn to prayer for it is at a time of unexplainable tragedy we cry to God and know God cries with us.
God of compassion and mercy, our hearts are filled with pain and bewilderment at this act of violence that has injured some and taken the lives of so many.
We pray for all who grieve the loss of loved ones. We pray for those who have been wounded or injured. We give thanks for the RCMP and first responders, especially Corporal Heidi Stevenson who gave her life to protect her community and her wounded colleague.
We pray for all in Nova Scotia as they face this random violent disruption that has destroyed their peace and left a legacy of betrayal and pain. May the inner wounds to hearts and souls be comforted by your peace that can transform death and bring life again.
We pray for the family and friends of the perpetrator in their struggle with this betrayal of relationships.
May they know you walk with them too.
We ask for your healing for our broken world in which such evil can find a home in a human heart and be so destructive.
We ask your grace to provide comfort in this time of continuing physical isolation from one another. In our sorrow and grief may your presence be near to hold the pain, comfort our hearts and renew our hope. We lift our hearts in anguish and ask for your healing today and in the days to come through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Most Reverend Linda C. Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate