Here in Vacationland, local clergy are invited to pray at the opening of the State Senate each morning when they are in session.
I’m going today (because apparently I have nothing else to do).
Actually, I’m going because some of my treasured early memories involve visiting the floor of another State Senate, the one in the Commonwealth of my birth, with my father, who was a State Senator for some years before making the move to the bigger Senate in the City on the Potomac. When I later worked in the U.S. Senate Library, tucked away in the Capitol itself, I found the presence of a Senate Chaplain fascinating.
Here is an excerpt from the guidelines I received for this morning:
Out of respect for the diversity of religious beliefs of the Senators, please offer a prayer that is non-sectarian and non-political. A brief inspirational message to guide the members through their deliberations would be appreciated.
It’s my recollection from doing this once before that no one is paying a whole lot of attention to this inspirational message, but here goes:
Divine Source of all Love, Peace and Wisdom, we call out to you this morning. We ask for your guidance in the work of the day. Open our hearts and expand our minds with your presence. May our work be done with concern for those who are weakest and respect for those places where needs are greatest. Focus our eyes and tune our ears to perceive the eternal truths that never fail to guide us on the right paths. Help us to be good stewards of this Earth, and of the special resources of this beautiful and bountiful state of _____, we pray. Amen.