Oh God, we would not meet together as a group of people who call themselves Christians without remembering in your presence those who for whom this night will close in agony and despair. And so we commend to your loving care those who are cower in fear, those who have fled from their homes, those who have seen their wives raped and their husbands and children slaughtered, those for whom butchery has become a way of life. We think of families who are separated, who are hungry, who lack water, who are cold and who have learned to live with hopelessness.
And we remember those closer to home who nightly risk their lives to board lorries, whose only contact with the world is through the visits of council carers, who are scared of broken relationships, of children who are bullied at school, of the sick and dying in the great hospitals around us and of the desperate who can simply cope no longer.
In the face of this litany of human suffering may we never grow cynical or complacent. May we be generous with our time, our money and our attitudes. And help us by the checked comment, a quick smile, a ready handshake and an offer of help, to heal and not to exacerbate. Remind us again and again of our own dependence on your love and of the promises we have made till frightful a nightfall no longer folds rueful a day for our anguished world. Amen