Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration prayers

As we prayerfully await the inauguration of our next President, it is a good time to consider the inaugural prayers said through history,compiled over at beliefnet. Here is an excerpt from the 1961 Inauguration of John F. Kennedy, given by Richard Cardinal Cushing, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston who prayed for us:

To enlarge our vision of the common good;

To implement with personal sacrifice the objectives of our national purpose;

To revere in every man that divine spark which makes him our brother --that human spark which can make him our friend -- and that personal spark which makes him himself;

To learn to ask ourselves sincerely in every community effort, not what we can get out of it, but what we can put into it.

To defend my right to be myself; to defend my neighbor's right to be himself, and to defend America's duty to respect the rights of all men.

Strengthen our resolve, oh Lord, to transform this recognition of others into a principle of cooperation.

Inspire us to practice this principle of cooperation both in ideal and action in these most dangerous, but soul-stretching times.
...

Give us the strength to further Thy creation by our responsible and dedicated work -- for to labor is to pray;

Give us the charity to further Thy creation by our brotherly cooperation -- for to care is to love.


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