A Prayer Commemorating 100 Years Since the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide serviceO God, Our hearts cry out, “How?!” “Why?!” How did this genocide happen?! Why did You let it happen?! One and a half million innocent Armenians tortured and slaughtered in the most horrible ways is an abomination. This genocide –and I use that word with purposeful intent—is an insult to Your desire that we create a just, caring, peaceful and compassionate society on earth! Yes, we cry out in anguish, but we know the answer to our question! This genocide did not happen because You let it happen. It happened because—just like Cain when he killed Abel—we—the creatures you created to be in charge of and responsible for this earth—spurned your desires for us. You blessed us, Eternal One, with free will, and we so horribly abused that power! And so Eternal One, we confess our complicity in the crime of standing idly by the blood of our neighbors, and we come here today to bear witness to our failure to act as You wished we would act. We know, O God, the proper question is not, “Where were You?” The proper question is, “Where were we?” It is a question that haunts us today a hundred years after the Armenian genocide known as the Meds Yeghern, and it will haunt us 100, 200 years from today, and as long as humanity endures. We cannot undo the past—as much as we wish we could—but we can bear witness to it! We cannot undo the past, but we can learn from it! We cannot undo the past, but we can create a better future for our children, our grandchildren and the generations to follow! We cannot undo the past, but let each of us stand accountable if we fail to do our part in the future — by using the minds, hearts and talents with which you have blessed us, O God, to work to create the world of which the prophets Isaiah and Micah dreamed when they said: “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Eternal One as the seabed is covered by water (Isaiah 11:9)”. “And all shall sit under their vines and under their fig trees with none to make them afraid! (Micah 4:4)” Amen