Pastor Asks His Father, A Renowned Civil Rights Leader: How Do We Grieve For Charleston?

06/25/2015 05:05 pm ET | Updated Jun 25, 2015

On the first Sunday after nine worshippers lost their lives during a shooting inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, parishioners of a historic black church in Chicago gathered to listen to a powerful sermon.

During the tag team session, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and his son, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, spoke to the congregation at Trinity United Church of Christ about the importance of learning “how to grieve prophetically.”

The elder Moss is a renowned civil rights leader, who has endured jail time, death threats and other racist attacks because of his work. The younger Moss, the senior pastor at Trinity, turned to his father for advice about how to grieve after the tragedy.

“Our spirits are cast down into the pit of confusion. How could this happen?” the younger Moss asked about the actions of the accused shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof.

He told HuffPost that he and his father were trying to maintain a “theology that is unafraid to sing the blues, speak the blues and confront the blues.”

“We sought to give people a sense of hope and inspire people to keep fighting for love and justice. We wanted people to have the theological grounding to know ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God.’ We sought to help people face tragedy but not fall into despair,” Moss said.

Listen to the moving sermon in the video above.

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