All Souls Day prayer offered for Korea stampede victims

The United Church of Christ, on this All Souls Day, remembers in prayer the 159 people who lost their lives in the crush of a Halloween party in Seoul, South Korea Saturday night. The tragedy on Oct. 29 in the Itaewon neighborhood also left 172 people injured, more than two dozen of those in serious condition. At least 26 citizens from 14 countries were among the dead, including two Americans.

God of mercy and peace,

As we mark All Souls Day, we pray for the more than 150 lives lost in the panicked crowd in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea, this Halloween weekend. We pray for comfort for the family and friends of the dead and injured and for the broader Seoul community and Korean nation as they seek meaning and healing in the coming days.

We turn to you in such times of tragedy, when deaths seem so senseless and so many young people are among the victims. May due space and time be committed in the wake of this tragedy for those in authority to show the transparency and honesty needed to make changes for the public good, so that preventable accidents like this would not happen again.

We remember the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea and our ecumenical partners at this crucial time. May they bear the strength and wisdom of Christ, that, even as they grieve with the community, they might help the people find grace amid their grief and hope amid their hurt.

We pray these things in the merciful name of Christ, whose peace passes all understanding.


Derek Duncan, the author of the prayer, is the area executive for East Asia and the Pacific serving Global Ministries, the common overseas ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ.

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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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