I don’t often post “in my own words” on the church blog, but hope to occasionally add more news from the wider Church, especially as we approach General Convention and contemplate welcoming a new Presiding Bishop. Also, there will be news items of interest to all people of faith, along with “Episcopaliana” or links to content that highlight who we are and what we’re about.
First up, how often do you pick up the Book of Common Prayer? Are you comfortable “winging it” when praying privately, or “in common” with others? Did you know there’s an online version? There’s even a (paid) app for that, although you can download a free PDF from the Episcopal Church site and another version called iBCP.
Sometimes when you feel the need to pray about something, saying the words that so many before you have said is comforting and adds a sense of “we’re all in this together;” many lives and many souls all yearning to express the same things: healing, comfort, thanksgiving, and support.
A personal favorite of mine is the prayer for those who struggle with addiction, which I repeated many, many times for a fellow choir member who departed this life some years ago after struggling with alcoholisim his entire adult life. His name was Tim Black, and we in the choir still miss him and his cheerful willingness to help others even as he struggled to help himself. As we’re getting ready to put out a Christmas CD, it turned out that the image that worked best for the CD cover was one from Tim’s last Christmas Eve service – we missed him so much last year. However, none of the pictures from Christmas 2013 really worked for the square CD format, but an older one did (taken by my husband David Gibbs in the semi-darkness, with the glorious Angel Tree glowing softly). And there to the side of the tree is Tim, singing “Silent Night” with us for what turned out to be the last time.
I still think of him, and repeat this prayer now in thanksgiving that he has risen in glory and no longer struggles with his addictions, and in supplication for those who still struggle with theirs.
O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look
with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost
their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of
your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset
them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to
those who care for them, give patient understanding and
persevering love. Amen.
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