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Posts Tagged ‘Yom Hashoah’

Today is both Yom Hashoah, the day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust, we well as the 56th celebration of the annual National Day of Prayer, a holiday created by Congress in 1952. I have never marked the National Day of Prayer before partly because it seemed somehow artificial to pray because Congress says I should. And as a journalist, I have sometimes covered this day in the past and have found it hasn’t always been as inclusive as it should be. I have often marked Yom Hashoah by thinking about and praying for all those who were killed in WWII.

But how will that change unless we all make an effort to honor the true spirit of the day? In that spirit, I wanted to offer a new set of prayers for prayer beads. But on what theme? There’s an awful lot we need to pray about – the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the plight of the poor and hungry, the condition of our environment – too many, really for me to list them all here, though I try to keep them all in my prayers.

But so many truly happy threads are running through my life right now that I feel like rejoicing. A dear friend is expecting a baby after many, many years of trying. My eldest son will graduate from college next month. My youngest son has returned to college after a very trying year off. My husband and I will celebrate our tenth anniversary this month. And my mother is in good health after a scare in February. I am healthy and whole and – dare I tempt the fates? – happy.

I think, then, I must offer up prayers of thanksgiving. But I will temper my prayers of joy with one of hope – that on the next National Day of Prayer I will be praying my thanks for greater world peace, unity and prosperity than there is right now.

In that spirit – of joy, of inclusiveness, of thankfulness and of hope – I offer the following prayers drawn from Psalms 96 and 108 and from the book She Who Prays: A Woman’s Interfaith Prayer Book by Jane Richardson Jensen and Patricia Harris-Watson.

ON THE CROSS, CRUCIFIX OR TERMINAL CHARM:
My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;
I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit; awake lute and harp;
I myself will waken the dawn. (Psalm 108)

ON THE INVITATORY OR FIRST OUR FATHER BEAD:
I will confess you among the peoples, O Lord;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. (Psalm 108)

IF USING A CATHOLIC ROSARY, ON THE FIRST THREE HAIL MARY BEADS:
1 – Sing to the Lord a new song;
2 – Sing to the Lord, all the earth
3 – Sing to the Lord and bless his name (Psalm 96)

ON THE CRUCIFORMS OR REMAINING OUR FATHER BEADS
Glory to you who creates,
Glory to you who sustains,
Glory to you who awakens

ON THE WEEKS OR DECADE BEADS
1 – I believe that you, O God, created humanity, female and male, in your image.
2 – I hear you, O Lord, and your call to love with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind.
3 – I accept others, just as you have accepted me, in order to bring praise to you, O God.
4 – I hope to shine like the stars in the universe as I hold out the world of life to my community
5 – I am committed to growing in your knowledge and love
6 – I praise you for clothing me with yourself so that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
7 – May the Light who lightens my life today illumine all of my tomorrows.
[8 – Delight of my heart, rest in my peace; ]
[9 – Nestle into my presence.]
[10 – Amen.] (From She Who Prays: A Woman’s Interfaith Prayer Book)

And since we spent part of this week learning how to make and use the Pearls of Life, I offer this adaptation of the same set of prayers for that form of prayer beads:

ON THE GOD PEARL
Glory to you who creates,
Glory to you who sustains,
Glory to you who awakens

ON THE PEARLS OF SILENCE (say once on all six):
I praise you for clothing me with yourself so that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

ON THE BAPTISM PEARL:
I believe that you, O God, created humanity, female and male, in your image.

ON THE NIGHT PEARL:
I hope to shine like the stars in the universe as I hold out the world of life to my community

ON THE MYSTERY PEARLS:
1 – Sing to the Lord a new song;
2 – Sing to the Lord, all the earth
3 – Sing to the Lord and bless his name

ON THE LOVE PEARLS (2 times):
I accept others, just as you have accepted me, in order to bring praise to you, O God.

ON THE SERENITY PEARL:
Delight of my heart, rest in my peace; nestle into my presence.

ON THE DESERT PEARL:
May the Light who lightens my life today illumine all of my tomorrows.

ON THE RESURRECTION PEARL:
My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;
I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit; awake lute and harp;
I myself will waken the dawn

ON THE I PEARL:
I hear you, O Lord, and your call to love with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind.

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