Prayer for Orlando - Moderator offers heartfelt condolences to our brothers and sisters

The Right Rev Dr Russell Barr

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has expressed deep shock and sadness following a devastating attack on a gay nightclub in the United States.

Fifty people are now known to have died in a mass shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida.

A further 53 are said to have been injured.

The attack was carried out by American-born Omar Mateen who was shot dead by police. He is reported to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group while speaking with officers.

It is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

Dr Barr said: "The news of the shooting in Orlando and the number of people killed and injured, is shocking in the extreme.

"My heart goes out to the families of everyone involved and also to the emergency services having to deal with such an appalling event.

"On behalf of the Church of Scotland let me offer my condolences to those left bereaved and assure our American sisters and brothers of our thoughts and prayers at this dreadful time."

Dr Barr has written a prayer to try and provide some comfort for people in Orlando.

God of peace

We pray for the victims of violence and acts of terrorism the world over and especially today for brothers and sisters, parents and children, lovers and friends who weep in Orlando

May the peace of God which passes all understanding enfold and surround them

Time of silence

God of light

We pray for those who face the darkness of bereavement and loss , all who are facing a long road to recovery, those who witnessed shocking scenes of injury and distress and the emergency services who came to their aid.

May the God of light bring each one out of darkness and into the light of God's presence.

Time of silence

God of love

We pray for people caught in the spiral of hatred, those who claim credit for evil actions and whose hearts are filled with anger and bitterness.

May the God of love lead them from the path of hurt and pain to the path of life and peace

Time of silence

And may grace, mercy and peace from God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us and with all for whom we pray.