527 North Boulevard - 4th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Candle Lighting Litany for Children’s Sabbath- Louisiana

Adapted and revised from a litany prepared by

the Rev. John A. Scott, Jr., of Trinity Presbyterian Church, of Jonesville, LA


Female Voice:

We light a candle for the 16.1 million children throughout the United States that are living their lives in poverty [1]; The 27% of the children living in our communities in Louisiana that are affected by poverty in their families [2].


Male Voice:

We light a candle for the 1 in 50 children in the United States that are homeless [3]; The 21,000 children in public schools in Louisiana that are without a place to call home [4].


Female Voice:

We light a candle for the 1 in 9 children throughout the United States living in households struggling to afford the food they needed to ensure their children would not go to sleep or to school hungry [5]; the children that represent 23.5% of all children in Louisiana [6]. While one-third of the children in the United States are overweight or obese [7].


Male Voice:

We light a candle for the over five million children in the United States who are uninsured [8]; the 59,000 children in Louisiana without health insurance [9a].


Female Voice:

We light a candle for the teen mother and her baby that will be born every 1.5 minutes [10]; for the 7,083 teens and their babies born in Louisiana [11].


Male Voice:

We light a candle for the 7,000 children who drop out of a public high school each day [12]; for the 26,386 children in Louisiana that drop out of high school [13].


Female Voice:

We light a candle for the child that enters foster care every 2 minutes throughout the United States [14]; for the 4,044 children in Louisiana living in foster placements [9c]; and the more than 23,000 youth that age out of foster care each year with no permanent family [15].


Male Voice:

We light a candle for the 678,810 children under 18 in the United States that are abused or neglected [16]; The more than 8,458 children that suffer from abuse or neglect each year in Louisiana [9b]; The families of the more than four children who will die today from child abuse or neglect [17].


Female Voice:

We light a candle for the 580 families from around our country that call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children each day [18], for the 2,185 children that go missing each day [19a] and the 797,500 children that go missing each year in the United States [19b].


Male Voice:

We light a candle for the 325,000 children that become victims of exploitation each year throughout North America [20], and the 5.5 million children that are victims of trafficking and forced labor practices around the world each year [21].


Female Voice:

We light a candle for the 2,694 children that die each year in a senseless act of violence in the United States [22]; the 87 children in Louisiana that lose their life to violence [9e].


Male Voice:

We light a candle for the over 1.6 million children under age 18 that are arrested or incarcerated in the United States [23]; the 16,582 children in Louisiana affected by their criminal offenses [9d].


Female Voice:

We light the Christ Candle and remember that You are ever present in our lives and in the lives of your precious children of the United States, and the World. God, we come to You in Worship today to adore and Praise you for all that you have done for us and continue to do in the lives of Your children.



Foot note references - with most recent stats available as of 10/14. (Most stats are from the 2010 Census, with some through 2014.)   Note* Some of the below on-line documents have title pages, etc. that may change the way you access the page numbers in pdf search.  Look for the page number that is actually printed ON the page referenced.


1, 5, 6, 15 Children’s Defense Fund - The State of America’s Children – 2014 Printing.  Downloadable pdf


 1  Page 4.    16.1 million children are poor. 

  5  Page 28.  One in Nine children in the U.S. are in food insecure households.

  6  Page 52.  Percentage of children in each state living in food insecure households.

  15 Page 6.   More than 23,000 youth aged out of foster care at 18 or older without being returned home,

                    adopted or placed with a permanent legal guardian.


2National Center for Children in Poverty http://www.nccp.org/profiles/state_profile.php?state=LA&id=7

In Louisiana, there are 572,280 families with 1,081,256 children.  Poor Children: 27% (295,775) of LA. children live in poor families (National: 22%), defined as income below 100% of the federal poverty level.


3http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States 1 out of 50, or 1.5 million homeless children in the U.S.


4, 8,  9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 9e, 22, 23 http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/state-data-repository/cits/2014/2014-children-in-the-states-complete.pdf 

4.   Page 39.  Nearly 21,000 Louisiana public school students were homeless in 2011-2012

8  Page 1.  More than 5,260,000 United States children ages 0-17 (7.2percent) were uninsured in 2012.

9a Page 40.  More than 59,000 Louisiana children ages 0-17 were uninsured in 2012.

9b Page 40.  In Louisiana, 8,458 children were abused or neglected in 2012.

9c Page 40.  On the last day of FY2012 there were 4,044 Louisiana children in foster care.

9d  Page 40.  16,582 children were arrested in Louisiana in 2010.

9e Page 40.   A total of 87 children and teens were killed by guns in Louisiana.

22 Page 2.   A total of 2,694 children and teens were killed by guns in the United States in 2010.

23  Page 2.  1,642,600 children were arrested in the United States in 2010.  (1.6 million plus)


7http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm    In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.


10http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/state-of-americas-children/documents/2014-SOAC_each-day-in-America.pdf    Page 5.  Teen births every 1.5 minutes



  Teen birth totals for year of 2011.  7,083 for Louisiana.


12https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-high-school-dropout-rates )  Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone.   That’s 7,000 per day.


13High School drop out rates for every state (latest stats available through 2010).  Page 45




Every two minutes, another child enters foster care in America.


16http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2012.pdf   Page 51.   U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.   678,810 abused & neglected children each year in U.S.


17http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics  More than four children die every day as a result of abuse or neglect. 


18Based on average call volume at National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


19a, 19bhttp://www.missingkids.com/en_US/archive/documents/Statistics.pdf  page 1.  Average of a2,185 children younger than 18 were reported missing each day, with b797,500 in a one-year period of time.


20http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/documents/CCSE_Fact_Sheet.pdf   Page 1.  An estimated 325,000 children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are at risk each year as victims of sexual exploitation.



Forced labor or sexual exploitation, 5.5 million are below 18 years.

© 2005 Louisiana Interchurch Conference