"And at that hour there was made a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell..."
—Apocalypse xi, 13
I learnt while at work that a terrible earthquake struck Christchurch just before 1 pm N.Z. time; it was horrible to see the images and read of the havoc and death. Having only visited the city in January, thinking matters safe after the initial earthquake struck back in early September last year, it horrified me more than ever – I pray especially for the friends I made in Christchurch, that they be safe and sound.
(UPDATE: I've just heard from my friends, who live in Rangiora to the north of the city, and they are mercifully unharmed, thanks be, though they know another family whose home is wrecked...)
At least sixty-five lie dead, many killed by falling masonry. While buildings are as nothing compared to people, it is sad to see that the Anglican Cathedral's famous spire has collapsed (with fears many died in its fall), the beautiful Catholic Cathedral is half fallen-in, and probably will have to be demolished, and the historic Provincial Buildings now lie in ruins.
Please pray for the people of Christchurch, those slain and those who survive; pray for the rescue-workers and for all whom must now renew their labours to rebuild.
Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.
V/. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R/. Sed libera nos a malo.
V/. Salvos fac servos tuos.
R/. Deus meus, sperantes in te.
V/. Mitte eis, Domine, auxilium de sancto.
R/. Et de Sion tuere eos.
R/. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R/. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
V/. And lead us not into temptation.
R/. But deliver us from evil.
V/. Save Thy servants and handmaids.
R/. My God, who hope in Thee.
V/. Send unto them, O Lord, help from Thy holy place.
R/. And from Sion protect them.
R/. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R/. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray.
From the Traditional Roman Missal, the Votive Prayers in time of earthquake:
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui respicis terram, et facis eam tremere: parce metuentibus, propitiare supplicibus; ut, cujus iram terræ fundamenta concutientem expavimus, clementiam contritiones ejus sanantem jugiter sentiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, "Who lookest down upon the earth and makest it tremble" (Ps 103:32a), spare those who are afraid, show Thy mercy to those who implore Thee; that we who fear Thine anger, which shaketh the foundations of the earth, may evermore enjoy Thy mercy, which healeth its commotions. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Deus, qui fundasti terram super stabilitatem suam, suscipe [oblationes et] preces populi tui: ac trementis terræ periculis penitus amotis, divinæ tuæ iracundiæ terrores, in humanæ salutis remedia converte; ut, qui de terra sunt, et in terram revertentur, gaudeant se fieri sancta conversatione in cælestes. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
O God, "Who didst establish the earth on firm foundations" (Ps 103:5a), receive the [offerings and] prayers of Thy people, and by wholly removing the perils of earthquake, turn the terrors of Thy divine anger into healing remedies for mankind: that those who are of the earth and to the earth shall return (cf. Genesis 3:19), may rejoice in becoming citizens of heaven by the holiness of their lives. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tuere nos, Domine, quæsumus, [tua sancta sumentes:] et terram, quam vidimus nostris iniquitatibus trementem, superno munere firma; ut mortalium corda cognoscant, et te indignante talia flagella prodire, et te miserante cessare. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, to keep us, [who receive Thy holy mysteries,] and by Thy heavenly power make firm the earth, which we see trembling because of our sins; that men may know in their hearts that these scourges come from Thy wrath and cease by Thy mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saints to be invoked against earthquakes:
- St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr;
- St Amatus, Bishop of Nusco;
- St Emidius (Emygdius), Bishop and Martyr;
- St Francis Borgia, Confessor - named patron saint against earthquakes in 1756;
- St Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop and Confessor.
The people of Cuzco venerate an ancient crucifix as Señor de los Tremblores (Lord of the Earthquakes):
A flagello terræmotus, libera nos, Domine.
From the scourge of earthquake, O Lord, deliver us.