A Litany, for Japan

that all the lives that have been lost may find their eternal rest in You

that those grieving the loss of loved ones, especially their children, and the loss of entire families and communities, may find glimpses of hope and life

that those injured and those fighting for their lives may find solace, hope, and healing

that a nuclear catastrophe may be averted

that those searching for loved ones may be sustained in their turmoil and struggle

that those waiting for water, food, and the basic necessities of life may be able to strengthen each other and share meager resources

that those who are especially vulnerable – the children, the elderly, the women waiting to give birth, the sick – may find others to care for them

for all aid workers, that they may discover within themselves deep reservoirs of strength, generosity, and compassion

for the rising up of human beings who know how to heal, to restore, to rebuild, and to birth anew life and hope

for ourselves, that our lives may be strengthened in their witness to God’s holy and ever-healing presence


  1. Let response be, “Lord hear our prayer,”
    and continue or intemingle.

    In thanks for all those who prepared buildings to withstand earthquakes,

    In thanks for those people and systems who provided some warning,

    In thanks for those who have taken risks to rescue and heal others,

    In thanks for those who have sent supplies or money or come themselves to aid the victims,

  2. This is beautiful, Theresa! I hope you will feel flattered if I use some of these petitions for our prayer service

    1. I will be glad whenever people use these words to pray, and to pray deeply and insistently, for the suffering people of Japan. And of course there is also the Japan website at Catholic Relief Service, to complement the prayers:

  3. Thank you for this prayer, which I will share with my faith community and small prayer group. I have been at a loss for words.

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