Friday, January 20, 2017

Archbishop John Carroll's Prayer for Government

Prayer for Government, composed by Archbishop John Carroll, first archbishop of the United states, on the occasion of the inauguration of George Washington as president of the United States, in AD 1791. Seems very appropriate for inauguration day 2017.

I believe this prayer was read in every Catholic parish on Sunday after the last Gospel for many years. I suspect the next four years will require a lot of prayer for our civil leaders. It might be a good idea to revive this tradition.
We pray Thee, O almighty and eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of thy name.

We pray The, Who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, N. N., the vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of His Church; our own bishop, N. N. (or archbishop); all other bishops, prelates and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry and conduct thy people into the ways of salvation.

We Pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom and justice! through Whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist, with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude, the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides, by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.

Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government; so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and I useful knowledge, and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the Governor of this State, for the members of the Assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy all our brethren and fellow-citizens, throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge, and sanctified in the observance, of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and, after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith, and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, though the same Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Taken from The Life and Times of John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore (1735-1815).

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