On May 28, 2021, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops (Tk’emlups) Residential School.
A prayer of lamentation by Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada:
Let us take a moment now, to pause a
give voice to our shame and our sorrow
for the 215 children whose graves have been discovered at the Kamloops Residential School.
‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’
Let us open our ears to the voice of lamentation
in Kitamaat, Old Crow, Fort McKay,
Grassy Narrows, Chisasibi, Eskasoni,
in hundreds of communities across this country;
the voice of mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers,
generation after generation,
wailing for their children who were taken from them.
Let us open our ears to the sobs of those children,
torn from the comfort and protection of their families,
estranged from their culture and their sense of their own identity,
left with a pain that they often carried their whole lives.
Let us hold in our hearts those who were abused.
And let us remember those who never came home,
whose lives were stolen from them by disease and neglect,
particularly the 215 children whose graves have now been discovered.
As we have so shamefully failed them in this life,
may they find honour and healing as the first in your Kingdom.
We pray for our nation,
at this reminder of stories still untold,
pain still unshared,
responsibility still not taken.
Teach us the lesson of your cross:
that it is only in opening ourselves to the pain of others,
in sharing their burdens in love,
that we may find healing together.
We conclude with the Collect for the Holy Innocents:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
whose children suffered at the hands of Herod,
receive, we pray, all innocent victims
into the arms of your mercy.
By your great might frustrate all evil designs
and establish your reign of justice, love, and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.