Staff from both the U.S. House and Senate, along with elected officials and the Senate chaplain, walked out today to show support for those protesting the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
The walkout assembled on the U.S. Capitol steps as Senate chaplain Barry Black read the following prayer:
We gather here today so that we can be the voice for the voiceless. We believe that there is a power that has fueled our nation toward excellence through the centuries. We are here today to take advantage of the free exercise rights guaranteed to us by framers and founders of this nation and we begin this gathering with prayer. Let us pray. Eternal God, our hope for years to come, we thank you that our presence has sustained this nation throughout the season of its existence. You have brought America through many challenging times. Today as people throughout the nation, protests to justice in our land. Forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn't speak or breathe for themselves. May we not forget that in our national history, injustice has often been maintained because good people failed to promptly act. Forgive, O God, our culpability in contributing to our national pathology. As you keep us aware of our own capacity to be instruments of injustice, immunize us from that self-righteousness that blames everyone but ourselves. Lord, comfort those who mourn. Who know the pain of loss, the anguish of grief, and the futile futility of despair. Remind us that Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. Protect and guide your people who gather here today. May the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts, and the activity of our limbs be acceptable to you, O God, our rock and redeemer. We pray this in your sovereign name. Amen and Amen.