KYRIE – A CALL TO DISMANTLE WHITE SUPREMACY/PRIVILEGE

Words by Stephen Marshall-Ward, with contributors // Music by Stephen Marshall-Ward and Michael Austin Miller

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I. LAMENT

Sung: Kyrie eleison.  (Lord, have mercy.) 

I have been complicit in this great injustice.

Spoken: 

  • From the beginning of the United States, white people have built and diligently protected a system of racial order and inequality.  
  • This nation is built on racism.  Everything stems from it.  

Sung: O God, I lament: From one generation to another, white people have caused great harm and damage to people of color.  And I have been complicit in this great injustice.  Kyrie eleison.  

II. REPENT

Sung: Kyrie eleison.  Today I seek a better way:  

Spoken:

  • I have accepted and protected a system and institutions that centralize white people as superior.  
  • I have misunderstood and even ignored my contributions to this system and these institutions.
  • I have misunderstood and even ignored how I have benefited from this system of injustice.
  • I have misunderstood and even ignored that I have lived a privileged life at the expense of people of color from whom so much has been stolen.
  • I am complicit in the harm and damage this system has caused.
  • I acknowledge this history and I ask for forgiveness.  

Sung: O God, I repent.  Today I commit to a better way. I turn away from my daily contributions; I turn away from these many injustices.  Kyrie eleison.  

III. REPAIR

Sung: Kyrie eleison.  The Spirit will show us the way.

Spoken:

  • I humble myself.
  • I open my mind and heart to be educated – receiving, reflecting, and changing as I gain understanding.
  • I allow myself to be held accountable for my thoughts and practices.
  • I release my privileges so equity for others may occur.
  • I commit to interrupt racism in my daily living, relationships, and interactions.
  • I commit to actively challenge and change institutional systems built on racism.
  • I commit to courage and consistency in showing up for the work of racial justice.
  • I commit to do my part to repair the damage and pain.

Sung: O God, help me repair:  through our commitment to each other, the Spirit will show us the way.  I cry out that I must take action to repair these many injustices.   Kyrie eleison.  

IV. RECONCILE

Sung:  Kyrie eleison. I choose to join the dance of inclusion:

I lament, I repent, I must repair and reconcile.

Spoken:

  • I step down and follow the lead of people of color toward an equitable future.
  • I seek to make reparations – letting love and justice be my guide.
  • I will not seek reward for my efforts.  All will be rewarded when Justice and Equality succeed.

Sung: I choose to join the dance of inclusion: I lament, I repent, I must repair and reconcile. 

Kyrie eleison. Deep in my heart I seek equality.  God, let the change begin in me.  

I choose to join the dance of inclusion; deep in my heart I seek equality.  

God, let the change begin in me.  Kyrie eleison.