Church and Society Commission
Taking the Knee: Prayers for Racial Justice and Equality
The House of Bishops has approved a resource provided by the Church and Society Commission for use in public worship at the discretion of local clergy.
‘Taking the Knee’ includes a sentence of Scripture, a prayer of acknowledgement and lament, and prayers for racial justice and equality, and is available to download here.
In an introductory note, the Commission explains: ‘We affirm that racism is an affront to God and contrary to the Christian faith. It denies that the reconciling work of Jesus Christ was achieved for all people and that it breaks down the walls of division across all human distinctions. Racism denies our common humanity in creation and our belief that all are made in God’s image. It asserts falsely that we find our fundamental identity in terms of race rather than in Jesus Christ.
‘“Taking the knee” has become a symbol of protest against racial injustice and an expression of solidarity. It has been used by sports personalities, community leaders, and political representatives amongst others. Like all symbols it can easily be misunderstood. However, as Christians we are familiar with the symbolism of taking the knee. In Psalm 95:6, we read, “we kneel before the Lord our maker”. Taking the knee has special meaning for us as we regularly take to our knees in prayer in intercession, in lamentation, and in helplessness to Almighty God.’
The invitation to ‘take the knee’ in using this resource is offered ‘as a sign of devotion to God’s indiscriminate love as shown in the Gospel of his Son, and as a protest against racism as a distortion of God’s will in creation and redemption.’