For church this morning at First Parish Church of Groton, I wrote the pastoral prayer ahead of time. However, when the time came, I was moved to dump most of it and to give voice to the joys and sorrows voiced by the congregation. Here is the original written version of the prayer…
May the spirit of prayer be upon our house ….
(Text in italics adapted from this prayer by Tamara Lebak)
Spirit of Life, we gather this day to be reminded of the sacred in the ordinary, the holy moments of waking yet again to a new day. Help us this day to be fully present in our living, awake to each breath.
We come together to share and witness our joys and our sorrows, our moment by moments and the long stringing together of them, holding especially in our hearts and prayers:
[call out what was shared during Candles of Joys & Sorrows]
We hold the people of Nepal in the midst of suffering: may there be in the midst of that earthly devastation moments of connection, compassion, and comfort, shelter and decent medical care.
We hold the residents of Baltimore, and all the cities of our nation: may there be and may we make justice for all so that we all can know and be peace.
Let us rejoice that so many of the girls stolen last year from their schools and families in Nigeria have been found; may their transition to a new life be one that is a salve to their suffering, for surely the trauma they have experienced sowed the seeds of confusion and despair.
May those working so that the foundations of our history stay strong be surrounded with abundance and support;
May those working on behalf of all our towns and cities be wise and skillful;
May we be blessed with guests who expand our heart and minds.
Holy One, help us to remember that we did not make this day before us. Center of all Centers, remind us that we have the recurring pleasure to greet each moment as it unfolds, to reach out with an embrace, to kiss its cheek as though it were a visitor who has come a long way just to see us.
These and the prayers of our hearts we now. Amen. Blessed be.