When people learn that I am a minister, I am sometimes asked to say a blessing before a meal. And sometimes, I am a deer in the headlights when that happens. Public prayers are not something that roll easily off my tongue – though I do count myself as one who prays. But my prayers are more often stumbling iterations of what is in my mind or heart at any given moment. As UUs, I’m guessing that most of us don’t have a regular prayer life – though we could benefit from that, I think. And we can’t easily just rely on the common prayers of our culture, because our idea of prayer is uncommon. Each of us must figure out what the act of prayer might mean for us and what it might consist of. I have decided that for Thanksgiving, the purpose of a prayer before a meal would be to bring our appreciation vocally into the world and to bring our inner attention to all that we have to be thankful for. And, because I will be with people who have a traditional understanding of prayer, I need something that will be both authentic to me and meaningful to them. So, this year I’ve decided I need to be ready – if the call for a thanksgiving prayer arises! This is what I have come up with;
Aware of the many blessings we always receive,
Let us turn our attention to our breath
And how easily it keeps us alive second by second.
And to this family gathered here
And how we are nurtured by this connection.
To the wider communities we have around us
That also bring us joy.
And to people all over the world who,
though we will never know or see them,
yet make our lives possible.
To the earth which has given us this food.
And for forces unseen that hold and buoy our spirits,
We give the gift of our thanks. Amen.
I do wish you a happy thanksgiving and I give you this poem from Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. Read more of her poetry by clicking. HERE
ON THIN BROWN WINGS
Perhaps not as many days of sun
as they might have wanted,
perhaps not as much warmth,
perhaps not as much rain—
rain that soaks in like a lover’s
lingering glance, and still
beside the trail in late fall
they are everywhere,
the seeds of next year’s flowers
giving their everything to the world.
~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer