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Home » Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts » Prayers for Today: Von Ogden Vogt

Prayers for Today: Von Ogden Vogt

Von Ogden Vogt

Von Ogden Vogt

VON OGDEN VOGT (1879-1964). The ministry of this master liturgist is visible in stone in the architecture of The First Unitarian Church of Chicago adjoining the University of Chicago. He wrote Art and Religion and Cult and Culture and coedited Hymns of the Spirit and Services of ReligionRead More…


Before the wonders of life, we acknowledge our failures to see and to revere; before the sanctities of life, we are ashamed of our disrespects and indignities; before the gifts of life, we own that we have made choice of lesser goods, and here today seek the gifts of the spirit; before the heroism’s of life, we would be enlarged to new devotion.


Let us rejoice in the manifold richness of life, about us and within: within us as understanding and choice, about us as a fair and bountiful nature, and the works of generous souls;

We rejoice in the abundant life.

In the immemorial story of humankind; of struggle and venture, of sowing and reaping, of mirth and zest, of rites and assemblies, of mating and feasting, of ordered custom and new liberties won;

We rejoice in the story of humanity.

In the finding of facts and in shapes of molded form, in motions of the dance and of melody, in storied images of grief and ecstasy, in new visions of order.

We rejoice in the beauty of art and the power of knowledge.

For the rest of home, the comfort of friends, and the unending charm of persons; for the desire to work and to create, for the broad earth and the affairs of toil open before us.

We are thankful for home and friends and life’s labor.

For prophets and reformers who cry shame upon social wrong, for leaders of the people who are wise in the policies of state, for many forms of effort to build a commonwealth where all may reach their highest good: we are thankful.

Let us cherish the state that mighty ends may be achieved.

For shrines of faith where goods are praised and evils faced, where sorrows are healed and high purposes kindled, where our spirits are brought to that accord with all things which is at once our noblest task and most sublime joy: we are thankful.

Let us upbuild the church in strength to minister ever more abundant life and peace to all the world.


We are united in the efforts of faith:
faith in truth, in the growth of knowledge and understanding;
faith in love, in the labors and rewards of friendly living;
faith in people, in our powers to build an earthly commonwealth
of freedom and of peace;
faith in life, the life of all things that is Your life, O God, whose service
is perfect freedom, whose presence is fullness of joy.


We believe in You, O God, the life of all that is: sovereign in wisdom, goodness and power; and working everywhere for justice and peace and love.

We believe in the ideal of human life which reveals itself as love of You and love of humankind.

We believe in the growth of Your kingdom on earth, and that our loyalty to truth, to righteousness, and to other human beings, is the measure of our desire for its coming.

We believe that the living and the dead are in Your hands, O God, and that underneath both are Your everlasting arms.

By all our experience; in health and in sickness; in joy and in sorrow; in every circumstance and in every place, O God, our Father and Mother Eternal:

Teach us and lead us ever nearer to You.


Let us join in grateful praise for the goods of life that are ours. With the voices and hearts of the children of humanity, with seers and prophets, with those whose craftmanship is their song, with all who find in human service their joy made full;

We lift up our hearts in gratitude and praise.

In life; its adventures, risks and prizes; in the strength of the soul that overcomes all dangers;

We rejoice with thanksgiving.

In tasks that are hard; in work well done; in the skill of our hands; in experience, judgment, decision;

We rejoice with thanksgiving.

In knowledge; in joining fact to fact; in seeing truth in its beauty;

We rejoice with thanksgiving.

In health; in sickness that has passed away; in sorrows that have not visited us; in temptations that did not tarry at our door; in fears that turned to triumph;

We rejoice with thanksgiving.

In the faces of those we love; in the eyes that look kindly upon us even when we fail; in those with whom we are at rest;

We rejoice with thanksgiving.

In those who, though dead, yet speak, the known and the unknown, the great and the lowly, by whose lives we are enabled to live;

We rejoice and will rejoice forevermore. Let the work of our hands declare the gladness of our hearts, and kindly deeds speak forth the gratitude within.

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Categories: Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts