‘The Tears of Things’ – A Prayer inspired by the 8th Station of the Cross

A poignant poem/prayer written and kindly shared by Sr Kate Holmstrom SHCJ.

Art by Theophile Lybaert

“Weep not for me, but for your children.”
We are the women of Jerusalem.
We were standing by the Way of the Cross.
But we weep both for you, dear Lord,
And for our children.
We weep for all the sorrows of the world.

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

‘We are the women of Ukraine.
We weep for our husbands who embraced us so tenderly,
Bidding us goodbye
as they stayed on to fight,
While we cowered in dark basements
Or struggled to escape to freedom,
Facing an unknown, frightening future,
Encouraging our little ones,
traumatised and fearful.’

‘We weep for our lost, premature babies
As others weep for their own, miscarried children
Or for themselves when they chose to abort
In a tragic miscarriage of judgement and despair.’

‘We are the women of Russia.
Our sons and sweethearts did not go willingly (fed by lies and false promises)
To bomb and kill people just like themselves, ourselves.
We grieve for them all
– whether living or dead.
We cry out in desperation …
but to what avail?’
‘We are the women of Afghanistan
Stripped of our future and condemned to silence.’

Art by Christos Magganas

‘We are the women of starving countries
Depriving ourselves of a morsel of bread to feed another.’

‘We are the women, old, cold or sick,
Haunted by nightmares of bills and debt.’

‘We are the women raped, beaten, abused
As we shudder and whimper, powerless and vanquished.’

‘You too wept,
Jesus of the tender heart,
Were overcome by the sorrow
at the death of Lazarus
And the destruction of Jerusalem, foretold.’  

‘Yes, Lord, still we weep for you
And we weep for all the children of misfortune.  
Mother of Sorrows – in our affliction we turn to you.
Tortured Lord – in your mercy, hear our prayers.’

Crying Women by Mikuláš Galanda

A Prayer for Peace in Ukraine: Господи помилуй, Lord have Mercy

When we are lost for words, prayers and laments like this one by Rev Jon Swales can help us express our heart’s desire to our Almighty God.

Father of Creation,
God of Peace,

The world has changed,
And so have our hearts,
As we face disappointment, 
disorientation and distress
Not knowing what will happen next.

Lord have mercy,

Christ have mercy.

Putin and the Masters of War
Have opened the door to the beasts of war,
And it may overwhelm us.
Who is like the beast?
Who can fight against it?

Yet our grief, anxiety and fear
is nothing compared to that faced
by ordinary people living in Ukraine.

So we pray for,
The brave and the scared,
The soldier and civilian,
The elderly and the newborn,

Lord have mercy,

Christ have mercy. 

And so we pray for,
Those who have decided to fight,
Those who have decided to flee,
Those who resist but choose not to kill.

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

And so we pray for 
Those who this day will be wounded,
Those who this day will die,
Those who this day will mourn. 

Lord have mercy,

Christ have mercy

Father of Compassion,
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

We look to you,
In a world at war,
For hope, healing and help,
For grace, goodness and guidance,
For the cessation of war and the flourishing of peace.

Lord have mercy,

Christ have mercy. 

Father of Peace,
God of Hope, 

After crucifixion,
Your Son was laid silent in the grave,
And then you spoke and he was raised to life.

Violence does not win,
It will not have the last word,
Death does not win,
It will not have the last word.

In the reconciliation of all things,
War will be no more.
In the reconciliation of all things,
All tears will be wiped away.
In the reconciliation of all things,
There will be a tree for the healing of the nations. 

Lord have mercy,

Christ have mercy.

Hospody pomyluy, Господи помилуй

Christ have mercy. 


To listen to this prayer being read by Rev Jon Swales, please click on the link below:

Lament and Hope: Prayers for Peace and Justice: A Prayer for Peace in Ukraine

You can find more laments, prayers and poems on the same podcast site, some are about the climate change disaster, some were in response to Covid, and there are more about the Ukraine as well.

Rev Jon Swales is Lighthouse Mission Priest (C of E) at Lighthouse West Yorkshire, which is is a fresh expression of church and registered Leeds-based charity which reaches out to those who are battered and bruised by the storms of life.