Prayer for 9/11

Originally spoken on for a memorial service on the 9th anniversary at the First UU in Brooklyn.

Spirit of Life, God of Many Names and One Transforming and Abundant Love, be with us now.

Help us to enter this new year with a spirit of renewal. Open our hearts to the possibility of abundance. Open our hands to do the work of what the year brings to us, with meaning and integrity; with care and love.  Prepare our lips to speak with truth and care.

All of these blessings will be needed to prepare the road ahead for justice and healing. We pause once more, as some do every day, to remember the lives lost 9 years ago on a Tuesday morning. We mourn the friends we can no longer greet. We hold in our hearts the families that are missing a parent, or sister, or son.  We acknowledge that a new generation has seen its innocence of worldly anguish pass away.

Knowing that each of us must wrestle with memory and loss in our own ways; we pray for the strength of heart to face these difficulties with integrity. That we know, deep down, that a warm community sits all around us ready to stretch our a hand so that the way ahead is a little bit less cumbersome, less solitary, less strange.

May our memory and our grief not alter our prayerful convictions for a world of hope and love. May the harm done that fateful day not deter our spirits one inch from a path of building that world we dream about. May we not learn to become creatures of reaction, recreating harm in the world around us for the harm done in this City.

This morning we keep close in our hearts the families and friends we once knew. We rejoice in those stories where a parent, or brother or daughter arrived home late at night to a welcoming grateful family.  We also rejoice for the congregations like ours, spread throughout this country, who have learned to break bread and share in worship across religious aisles; who appreciate the shared messages of love and healing that are taught by Christians, by Jews and Muslims; by religions the world throughout. It is in this spirit, that the world may see peace.

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