Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Our Youth Group sharing prayers from many traditions

This past fall, our teenage youth group embarked upon an incredible spiritual adventure: they set out to visit a different congregation each month. Associate Rector Janet Legro, our youth leader, called it "Church on the Road." 

The youth visited not just congregations from different brands of Christianity, but congregations from other faiths as well. Our young people came away with a deepened appreciation of how human beings find and worship God in many languages, cultures and customs. This spring our youth group completed their visits, but by no means finished their spiritual journey.

This past Sunday, our youth group led our worship, and we were treated to a series of "Prayers of the People" that borrowed from the congregations our youth group visited. Here below are those prayers, and a few photos of the youth leading our service Sunday. Blessings to all.

Prayers of the People by St. Paul’s Youth

The prayers of the people this morning come from those prayers we experienced when we visited other religious communities in Charlottesville and a Lakota prayer from the communities we will visit in June.

Lotus Prayer from the community at Yogaville 
O Lord, the Light of Lights, Kindly lead us to that Light of Wisdom and enlighten our hearts. Help us experience that Light within and without. Help us see the same Light, the same Spirit dwelling everywhere in everything. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.

Help us recognize the central unity. Help us realize we are Your image, Your children, no matter what the differences are. Let us behold Your Spirit running through all. Give us the strength and courage and capacity to experience that Peace and Joy and share that experience with everyone.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.
Help us to get away from these selfish temptations with which we are creating all the differences, all the fights, and all the wars. We have suffered enough due to our ignorance. Please guide us to know our brothers and sisters and to know we are all parts of your family.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.

Buddhist Prayer from Tashi Choeling Buddhist Center
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;
May all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.

Muslim Prayer: by Aminah Sharif Goling
In the name of God, the Beneficent and the Merciful, We pray to You peace. Peace that comes from within our hearts, which is authentic. Peace that radiates through out the whole of humanity that brings harmony. Peace that is rooted in understanding one another and sustained through times. Peace that recognizes not only the similarities but also the differences between and among people. Peace, in your Name.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.

Christian Prayer from Mother Teresa
Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our brothers and sisters throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy.

Lord in your mercy, hear our Prayer.

Lakota Prayer from Black Elk, Oglala Lakota
Great Spirit, you are everywhere. You hear whatever is in our minds and hearts, and it is not necessary to speak to you in a loud voice. You lived first and are older than the prayers that are sent to you. All things belong to you. Thus we now send up a voice on behalf of everything you have made.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

1 comment:

C. Welte said...

This was a great service! I thought they all did a fantastic job. I've been thinking about blessing the hedgehogs ever since!