Prayer Service and Debriefing Session in the wake of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng
In the Stillness After the Storm:
Telling Tales, Sharing Strength
Prayer Service and Debriefing Session
Introduction to the Celebration
They always say that the center of the storm is still. There is little of the heavy rain or strong winds that whirl around it.
But perhaps, the aftermath of the storm is even more quiet, even more still. Here, as awareness of the disaster and calamity slowly settles in, we find ourselves at a real standstill. Much has been lost and much has also been done, and yet there is still so much pain and so much left to do. Where do we go from here?
Let us begin our prayer service by acknowledging the presence of our fellow survivors, thanking the Lord for preserving us during the storm. (We also pray for those who are not yet here with us today, that we may soon be reunited.)
The teacher calls out the students one by one.
For every name that is called, all respond if the person is present:
We thank God you are here.
If the person is absent:
We hope to see you soon.
SHARING (BY mentoring groups)
Guide Questions for Sharing:
1. Where were you during the storm? How was your experience?
2. What are your feelings now, in the stillness after the storm? What are your thoughts and feelings about the future?
During the sharing, the mentor or some other designated person takes note of the urgent and important concerns raised by the members of the group (e.g. lost homes and property, loved ones who are or have been sick, missing or deceased). He or she formulates them into short prayer intentions that are announced when the big group gathers.
For every petition all respond:
Lord, hear our prayer.
you create order out of chaos,
energy out of fear,
new life out of grief and loss,
hope and strength
out of sadness and despair.
In the wake of these tragic typhoons:
shelter those who have lost their homes,
assist those who have lost their livelihood,
welcome those who have gone ahead of us,
comfort those who miss their loved ones,
and come to the aid of all in need.
God of new beginnings,
restore to all of us
the peace and joy that comes
from trusting in your love.
We ask this of you
through Christ our Lord.