Civic Holidays and Days of Remembrance

Drenched in Holiness Prayer: Prayer for a New Year

Dear God,
On this day I ask You to grant this request,
May I know who I am and what I am,
Every moment of every day.
May I be a catalyst for light and love,
And bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet.
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,
And the courage to speak my voice, even when I'm scared.
May I have the humility to follow my heart,
And the passion to live my soul's desires.
May I seek to know the highest truth,
And dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self.
May I embrace and love the totality of myself,
My darkness as well as my light.
May I be brave enough to hear my heart,
To let it soften so that I may gracefully
Choose faith over fear.
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands
Between the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity.
May I be drenched in my Holiness
And engulfed by Your love.
May all else melt away.
And so it is.


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Canticle of Creation

In the beginning, Lord my God,
You alone existed: eternally one
Yet pregnant in the fullness of unity.
Full to overflowing,
You, Father of All Life, exploded outward
In a billion bits and pieces.
Your word became flesh,
Whirling in shining stars, shimmering suns
And in genesis glimmering galaxies.
You, my God, spoke
And Your Words became flesh:
In sun and moon, earth and seas,
Mountains and gentle hills,
Rolling rivers and silent streams.
You, my God, spoke
And Your Words became flesh: in winged bird, in deer and elephant,
In grazing cow, racing horse, and fish of the deep.
Your Words, so unique and so varied,
Filled the earth also with rabbit, squirrel and ant.
And all Your Words were beautiful,
And all were good.
From each of these Holy Words
Arose a prayer of praise and adoration
To You, their Creator
And Wondrous Womb.
"Praise You," rang out the redwood,
"Blessed be You," chimed in the cedar,
"Holy are You," prayed the prairie grasses.
From all four corners of this earth,
Rose up a chorus of perpetual adoration.
O Sacred Spirit, O Divine Breath of Life,
Unseal my ears that they may ever listen
To Your continuous canticle of creation;
Open my heart and my whole self,
To sing in harmony with all its many voices.
Teach me to commune with Your first Word made flesh,
Your creation,
That I may be able to unravel the wondrous words
Of Your second Word made flesh,
Through whom, with whom, and in whom,
I may see myself as another Word of Yours made flesh,
To Your glory and honor.

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Labor Day Prayer

Good and gracious God, you told us from the very beginning that
we would earn our bread by the sweat of our brow.
We are interdependent in our laboring, Lord.
We depend on the migrant workers who pick our lettuce and our strawberries,
the nurses' aids who empty bed pans,
the teachers who form our children's minds.

We thank you, Lord, for the gifts and talents you have given us
that allow us to earn a living and contribute something positive to our world.
We pray, dear Lord, for those who are without work.
Sustain them "us"  in your love.
Help us to realize that we have worth as human beings,
job or no job.

But that's hard to get, Lord.
Our society preaches to us that our worth comes from success,
of being better than the Jones'.
But our worth comes because You made us. We are Your children, no matter what,
job or no job.
You love us and you call us to love and support each other.
We pray, Lord, for those who do the dirty work in our lives, Lord,
those who break their backs for us, those who are cheated out of even a minimum wage,
those who have not access to health care,
those who cannot afford to send their kids to college.

Help us to bind together, Lord, as a community, as a nation
because we depend on one another, the garbage men,
the police, the stock people in our grocery stores,
the UPS driver, the pilots, the 7/11 clerk, the ticket-taker on the turnpike
the plumbers, the accountants, the bank tellers, the landscapers, the lifeguards,
those who clean our houses, the cooks, the waiters, the steel workers, the carpenters,
the scientists, and yes, the writers.

Help us to realize this weekend how dependent we are on one another, Lord.
We are ONE! We are family. We need each other.
Let us give thanks for each other this Labor Day weekend, Lord
Help us to celebrate and give thanks for each other and appreciate
the value, the dignity, the contribution
that each one makes to keep our country, our cities, our lives going.
And in tough times, help us remember the words of Jesus:
Come to me all you who labor
and are heavily burdened
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you . . .
for my yoke is easy and my burden light (Matthew 11:28)

-Bob Traupman

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