ALL THAT WE HAVE
Almighty God, Giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to ren der unto You all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise You not with our lips only but with our whole lives, turning the sorrows and the joys of each successive day into a living contribution to Your life.
God of our days and our nights, brace us and hearten us as we face our daily duties. In our hours of weariness and discouragement, You save us from self-pity. In our moments of achievement, You keep us un assuming and humble. So may we worthily fulfill our tasks and meet the duties of our day.
THE LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES
Lest we forget the great traditions of freedom and faith which are the heritage of humanity; lest we forget the pioneers, the statesmen, the bridge builders, the artists; and lest we forget You, the God of our fore bears who is our God also:
We light this candle of remembrance.
For the hope of a better world, in which righteousness and peace shall prevail among the people of the earth, and to create which is the task of the generations in which we stand, as well as for the courage and faith we shall need if we are to carry on this unfinished work:
We light this candle of consecration.
May the flame upon the altar of free faith shine in our hearts al ways, reminding us of the dark places to which we may carry light and strengthening us in every moment of doubt and discouragement with unwavering faith in You whom we serve and whose we are.
THE PRAYER OF A PARENT
Now that the children are asleep, dear God, I am tired and would spend a half hour in stillness.
May my burning heart feel Your ever-renewing power. May I not be unduly annoyed by the little things of life. You give me a large view, a sense of proportion, so I can truly judge what is important, what is not.
I turn to You for strength to be a fine parent to my children, knowing how to help them to unfold their dreams as well as to care for their bod ies. May they grow up healthy, creatively affirming life.
SLOW US DOWN…YET ALSO
Slow us down, O God. Ease the pounding of our hearts by the quieting of our minds;
Yet also, wake us up. Shake the complacency out of our souls by opening our minds to the cry of the wounded, the refugees wandering without homes, the homeless at home, and the children who starve.
Steady our hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time;
Yet also, quicken our steps with a vision of the urgent action now required to cure the causes of stunted growth, premature death, battered women, and abused children.
Give us, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlast ing hills;
Yet also, alert our eyes not to the comforting illusion of constancy divorced from change, but rather to such sharp reality as deep poverty surrounding us at home and abroad.
Break the tensions of our nerves and muscles with the soothing mu sic of the singing streams;
Yet also, give us, amid the calm days of our years, souls which are prepared to cope with the confusion necessarily occurring amidst new creation in the cities, towns, and the countries of the earth.
Help us to know the magical, restoring power of sleep;
Yet also, break the chains of euphoria deluding us to think that we are acting responsibly when we do no more than listen to music which protects our feet from marching.
Remind us of the fable of the hare and the tortoise, that we may know that there is more to life than increasing its speed;
Yet also, remind us of the fable of the astrologer who fell plumb to the bottom of a well, not seeing his feet while reading the sky.
Slow us down, O God, and inspire us to send our roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values, that we may grow more surely toward the stars;
Yet also, wake us up, so our eyes may see the people around us and our arms may be open to embrace the suffering who cry.