April 15- Holy Saturday

OPENING PRAYER: A PRAYER FOR HOLY SATURDAY (Revised Common Lectionary, 2002)

Almighty God,
Your name is glorified
even in the anguish of your Son’s death.
Grant us the courage
to receive your anointed servant
who embodies a wisdom and love
that is foolishness to the world.
Empower us in witness
so that all the world may recognize
in the scandal of the cross the mystery of reconciliation.

Amen.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: APRIL 15, 1817

Formal Deaf Education begins in the U.S.

 

On April 15, 1817, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Dr. Mason Cogswell, and Laurent Clerc established the first American school for the deaf, in Hartford, Conneticut. Originally named “The Connecticut Asylum (at Hartford) for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons” and later known as the American School for the Deaf, this school was the very first school for children with disabilities anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

Thomas Gallaudet was an ordained clergyman and recent Yale graduate, who had taken an interest in deaf education after meeting the Cogswell family. The Cogswell’s daughter, Alice Cogswell, had become deaf after falling ill as a child, but had very limited options for education in the United States. At the time, many still considered deafness a mental impairment, and the only education options for deaf children were at very expensive, private institutions.  Consequently, Gallaudet took a journey to Europe to learn more about formal deaf education, and upon his return he established the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States. In its first year, the school admitted seven pupils and by the following year,  it had thirty-three students.

Despite the growth and expansion of deaf education in the 1800s, very little was done in the United States to advance the rights of other students with disabilities. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, children with a wide range of types of disability were often grouped together and housed with children who were labeled “delinquent.” All of these populations were kept strictly separate from other children, and over 4.5 million children nationally were denied adequate schooling and accommodations due to their disabilities.

In the 1970s, laws such as The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), helped to launch a more formal special education movement, as they established a right to public education for all children as well as the prioritization of individualized education for children with disabilities. Yet the struggle for equal access, inclusion, accommodations, appropriate identification and placement, as well as adequate funding and resources for children with disabilities continues on today, not only in schools but in our churches as well.

*For more on this topic, follow the recent Twitter discussion:  #disabilityinchurch

SCRIPTURAL REFLECTION: PSALM 31:1-5

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.”

RESPONSE OF LAMENT AND CONFESSION: Please spend some time in personal response, crying out to God with prayers, poems, songs, or art that expresses your lament and confession. If you feel led, please share these responses with others, using #lentenlament #day46

You may close with the following:

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

CLOSING PRAYER: Holy Saturday Morning Prayer (Chaplain Mike)

God of light and healing, we come seeking wholeness.
Jesus, the Light of the World, rests in the tomb.
We wait for the coming of the Rising Sun to show us the way.
Hear our prayer for his coming!

Indeed, saving God, all creation waits with groaning
and longing for the salvation promised to our ancestors
and revealed in the resurrection of your Son Jesus.
Teach us how to wait for the bursting forth of your saving power
when all will be reconciled to you in Christ Jesus.

We wait in hope, O God.
We wait in the company of all the angels and saints of heaven.
Through their intercession may we have the power to say:
Holy, Holy, Holy is our God.

Amen.

-From Internet Monk website

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