Monday, September 12, 2011

A prayer by a renowned poet

On Sunday afternoon I participated an ecumenical service at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville to remember and honor those who died on September 11, 2001. The cornerstone to the service was a performance of Mozart's Requiem by the combined voices of the Charlottesville Oratorio Society and the University of Virginia University Singers. I am very proud to tell you that the ensemble included many members of our St. Paul's choir.

It was a sobering yet awe inspiring afternoon, with prayers and scripture readings. I was asked to give the closing prayer, and so I read from a newspaper clipping I've been carrying in my prayer book these last ten years. The prayer is by Maya Angelou.

Later, several people asked me to post it. I've done so before, but I am delighted to re-post this again. Here it is:

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By Maya Angelou

Father, Mother God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence
during the bright and sunny days,
for then we can share that which we have
with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence
during the Holy Days, for then we are able
to celebrate you and our families
and our friends.

For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask
you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed,
we ask you to shower upon them
the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give all the
world that which we need most -- Peace.

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