Monday, August 4, 2014

Our Siren Psalm

As an elementary student in a Catholic school, I was taught to say a prayer for whomever was involved every time I heard a siren. Although our school was situated on a busy intersection, our teachers would pause their lesson for every emergency vehicle. Some would lead us in a brief prayer, many would simply give us a moment of silence to offer our own prayers.

I lost the habit for awhile, in part because I didn't know what to say. The prayers offered on behalf of a child in respiratory distress would be significantly different from prayers offered as police respond to a homicide.

At some point when Peter was an infant, I read through the Liturgy of the Hours in one of my prayer books. The opening prayer struck me as a solution to my loss for words. In our family, we now say the following prayer - a slight variation of Psalm 70:1 - whenever we hear a siren:

God, come to their assistance.
Lord, make haste to help them.
Amen.

4 comments:

  1. That's perfect! We usually say three Hail Mary's, one for the person in trouble, one for the rescue crew (EMT and/or law enforcement), and one for the families and friends who may need strength and comfort. It can be tricky to keep their attention for that long, though, especially in the car when there is so much to see, excitement about our destination, and sisters to poke.

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    1. Hahaha, sisters to poke can be quite distracting. :-) I like the idea of praying specifically for different people involved!

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  2. I was also taught to say a prayer when sirens were heard. Have told this to others along lifes way and those friends think it is a wonderful tradition. Aunt Monica

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    1. It is certainly a good reminder of our connection within the Body of Christ. I'm thankful we can pass this tradition on to our children.

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