Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day - Joseph Lowery's Prayer of Benediction

This was quite outstanding....to me, at least...



Still looking for the text...
...update...text found!

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand -- true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you're able and you're willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed -- the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen!

REV. LOWERY: Say amen --

AUDIENCE: Amen!

REV. LOWERY: -- and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)

For the full text, and historical background, of the cited hymn Lift Every Voice and Sing, go here. For a recording, go here.

2 comments:

vietcong said...

My (very quick) transcription:

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far along the way
Thou who has by thy might led us into the light
keep us forever in the path we pray
Lest our feet stray from the places, our god, where we met thee
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee
Shadowed beneath thy hand
May we forever stand
True to thee oh God
And true to our native land

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now for thy blessing upon your servant, Barack Obama, the 44th President of these United States, his family, and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and indeed the global fiscal climate, but because we know you’ve got the whole world in your hands, we pray not only for our nation but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink though oppressed by the flood of mortal ills, for we know that Lord, you are able, and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds, and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these. We thank you for the empowering of our servant, the 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that yes we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds, the wind, of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in the spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other. And now Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love and not hate, on the side of inclusion, not exclusion, tolerance, not intolerance. And as we leave this mountaintop help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, wherever we seek your will. Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle, look over our little angelic Sasha and Malia. We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone with your hands of power and your hands of love. Help us then, now, Lord to work for that day when nations shall not lift up sword against nations, when tanks will be beaten into tractors. When every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. When justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream, Lord in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead man, when white will embrace what is right. Will all those who do justice and love mercy say amen, and amen, and amen.

Dragondoo...Positive T-Shirts said...

It made me chuckle in the face of seriousness. Spiced with equal parts of humor, compassion, and sincerity. Hopefully we can all move forward my brothers, and sisters of the human race. Today, January 20th, 2009 brought us closer together than we have ever been. May we continue to be inspired, and focused.
Thank you Mr. Obama and Rev. Lowery.

I loved it so much, I made it into a t-shirt: (NON PROFIT INTENTIONS)
http://www.zazzle.com/joseph_e_lowery_2009_inauguration_speech_quote_shirt-235235849124754262