Current conventional wisdom approves of a quick, peaceful death over one that passes over a duration. While I don’t think anyone would want to linger in a painful death, the recent political murders by decapitation underscores that the best death is peaceful and one where we can meet God in the right time.
The violence in such a death subsists in the physical blows, the kidnapping, the psychological abuse, and the theft of lifespan. Such a death reminds us that we have less control over these and like assaults than we would imagine. Millions of people are killed piecemeal, living in chaos and squalor, and have no peace. I think the current terror scare is an overreaction to the realities of the world, which is for most people a rough place to be.
Thus the petition in the litany,
From all fury of the elements; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and death unprepared for; Good Lord, deliver us.
Because prayers like this are so important, I’ve gone and cleaned up the typos in the Universalist litany of 1894, found here. Remember our sisters and brethren in prayer.