*Spanish Translation* Letanía para la Tierra

Rick Behrens of Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City contacted me wanting to translate some litanies for use in their bilingual services. A member of his team translated my "Litany for the Earth" into Spanish. They kindly shared their lovely translation.

Translated by Carmen Flores.

Dios, lamentamos la destrucción que se ha hecho
Que hemos permitido que se haga
Por nuestro silencio e inacción
Y por nuestra acción directa
Para la Tierra - Tu creación.
Perdónanos, oh Dios.

Incluso ahora nos damos cuenta de que nuestro hogar
Esta sufriendo
Sus habitantes están sufriendo
Por falta de agua limpia y aire
Falta de alimento vital
La falta de hábitat seguro.

Ayúdenos a tomar conciencia
De las necesidades de la humanidad,
De las necesidades de las generaciones venideras,
De las necesidades del suelo y las criaturas.

Reconocemos que tenemos una oportunidad:
Para elegir la paz sobre el beneficio
Para elegir la actividad sobre la complacencia
Para elegir un Bien Mayor sobre la conveniencia de hoy.

Despierta en nosotros una nueva compasión
Una nueva voluntad de cambiar,
Una nueva emoción para fomentar la comunidad,
Una nueva fe en la abundancia de tu Reino.
Un nuevo celo por establecer la Paz y la Justicia de Dios,
Un nuevo deseo de establecer la Tierra en derechos
Una nueva comprensión de la conectividad de todas las cosas,
Una nueva apreciación del don de la Tierra.


A Bilingual Litany: Litany for Wars (English/Arabic)

My friend Sara, who is from Jordan, helped me with some Arabic phrases for bilingual litanies. "Emnahna al salam" means "grant us peace."

em-NAH-HH-nah AHL sa-LAHM (you make the H-sound as a syllable)

I encourage you to try saying the phrase out loud, even if the words feel strange in your mouth, to speak in solidarity with those Arabic-speakers whose nations are at war and in deep suffering. Your willingness to discomfort yourself in this small way then becomes its own kind of prayer: stumbling, mis-pronounced, and self-conscious, but heart-felt. I have Syria in mind for this litany, but the name of any war-torn nation may be substituted.

God, wars rage and nations are in turmoil.
Emnahna al salam.
Only the power of God can turn hearts and minds toward peace.
Emnahna al salam.

In your mercy, look upon the people of Syria.
Emnahna al salam.
Look upon the poor and vulnerable;
Emnahna al salam.
Look upon the sick and wounded;
Emnahna al salam.
Look upon the government and political leaders;
Emnahna al salam.
Look upon those whose pockets are lined by war;
Emnahna al salam.
Look upon those who are caught up in violence and cannot see a way out.
Emnahna al salam.
Bring your justice and mercy swiftly.
Emnahna al salam.

Spoil the plans of those who instigate trouble because of greed and power-hunger.
Emnahna al salam.
Rescue those who are suffering from violence and unjust government.
Emnahna al salam.
Fill the hearts of those who can help with compassion and strength.
Emnahna al salam.
Empower leaders whose hearts understand the goal of Love, and who enact justice.
Emnahna al salam.

May the spirit of Christ, the Prince of Peace, be strong in that region.
Emnahna al salam.


A Bilingual Litany: Litany for Gracias

The church where I attend and lead worship is comprised of about 40% Spanish speakers. Because of this, and because we want to cultivate a diverse and welcoming community, we try to include Spanish elements in our services, usually in songs. This is my first bilingual litany. I have begun simply: with gratitude, the topic on which I have written more litanies than any other. I believe we suffer when we neglect gratitude, and that gratitude leads to good things in our lives and in our hearts. I also suspect that there is something transcendant, something heart-unlocking, in speaking words of praise and gratitude to God in languages not native to us. May we all cultivate hearts that value diversity and the universality of God's kingdom.

For those non-Spanish speakers, pronunciation and translation:
Santo Dios: SAN-toe dee-ose (Holy God)
Te damos gracias: Tay DA-mose GRA-see-us (We give you thanks)
Salvación: noo-AY-strah sal-vah-see-OHN (Our salvation)
Nuestra Esperanza: noo-AY-strah ess-pear-AHN-zah (Our hope)


Holy God,
Santo Dios.
We enter into Your presence with thanksgiving and praise.
Te damos gracias.

We look to You for our provision, for our daily bread.
Te damos gracias.
We look to You for love, acceptance, and identity.
Te damos gracias.
We look to You for wisdom, correction, and insight.
Te damos gracias.

We thank You for your unending care and patience with us.
Te damos gracias.
We thank You for your power in our weakness.
Te damos gracias.
We thank You for your grace and mercy toward us.
Te damos gracias.

We thank you for sending the Son, the Messiah: Jesus.
Nuestra Salvación.
We thank you for the gift of Your spirit.
Nuestra Esperanza.

You are the Source of Life, all goodness is in You.
Te damos gracias, Señor.