Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Prayer for Families

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families. We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. ... Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents, and so rekindle forever charity amoung us all, that we may everymore be kindly affectioned to one another, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen." These words from the Book of Common Prayer take us back to another day, not only because we don’t say “affectioned” anymore, but with their sentiments. In a world where the behavior of children in the family mimics television characters as much as anything (Bart Simpson, the boys from South Park - even Zack and Cody with their suite life), and where adults have long ago given up on real leadership in the home in many ways - again often resembling T.V. (Three and a Half Men, Still Standing) we have, child and parent alike, become accustomed to home life at a level that in our more lucid moments we may be willing to admit is disappointing - and not helpful to its members. It’s in this context that I like the words of this ancient prayer. Like the famous prayer of Jesus (“Our Father...”) or the great confession of David in the Psalms (Psalm 23), these words can be savored and mulled over - and prayed every day with profit. They can remind us of a higher life, and kindle in us higher aspirations. Look around. Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

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Clergy on Call ministries was started by Reverend William Britton. Pastor Bill is an ordained minister (clergy) serving as a wedding officiant or wedding minister – helping couples to write their wedding vows and plan their wedding ceremony so that they have “no regrets” on their day of celebration - whether religious ceremonies or civil ceremonies. (Pastor Bill is also available if you’re renewing your marriage vows, or eloping or doing a destination wedding.) Pastor Bill serves couples planning a wedding in the Greater New York area including Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County), Queens, Brooklyn, New York City (Manhattan), and Westchester County. If you’re thinking of using a Judge for your wedding, or a Justice of the Peace – or if you’re thinking of going to city hall for your wedding – or perhaps you’re working on a last minute wedding plan –in any case, Pastor Bill would love to speak with you. (Pastor Bill is also available for families that have suffered the loss of a loved one and are planning a funeral.)

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