Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day Prayer

Today, the United States officially receives its 45th president.  After one of the most divisive elections in national history, we hope and pray for healing among all people and that our government will be moved by the Spirit to work cooperatively for the common good.

The following is an adaptation of the prayer for civil authorities composed by Archbishop John Carroll for use on the occasion of the inauguration of George Washington in 1789.

      Almighty and eternal God,
      you have revealed your glory to all nations.

      God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
      through you authority is rightly administered,
      laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.

      We pray for the president:
      Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
      the President of these United States,
      that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
      and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides.
      May he encourage due respect for virtue and religion.
      May he execute the laws with justice and mercy.
      May he seek to restrain crime, vice, and immorality.

      We pray for the members of Congress:
      Let the light of your divine wisdom
      direct the deliberations of Congress,
      and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws
      framed for our rule and government.
      May they seek to preserve peace, promote national happiness,
      and continue to bring us the blessings of liberty and equality.

      We pray for state and local officials:
      We pray for governors,
      for the members of the legislature,
      for judges, elected civil officials,
      and all others who are entrusted to guard our political welfare.
      May they be enabled, by your powerful protection,
      to discharge their duties with honesty and ability.

      We likewise commend to your unbounded mercy,
      all citizens of the United States,
      that we be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your holy law.
      May we be preserved in union and that peace which the world cannot give;
      and, after enjoying the blessings of this life,
      be admitted to those which are eternal.

      We pray to you, who are Lord and God, for ever and ever.


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