Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012
Ampersand and Grace
The Opening Prayer at the New England Churchillians Churchill Birthday dinner last year so struck us that we asked Pastor Axford for permission to reprint it….
Sir Winston S. Churchill 137th Birthday Dinner Union Club, Boston, St. Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2011 by The Rev. W. Scott Axford, M.Div., Pastor First Universalist Church, Providence, Rhode Island
before Whom all the nations stand, by Whose Grace we have been led into the broad, sunlit uplands of enduring freedom, and through Whose Providence we have been made to know not dark days, but great days of prosperity and liberty—days which we shall long remember:
Bless, we pray, we here in New England, who would gather to keep this Anniversary occasion, from the Thirtieth of November, born prematurely, in 1874, of a Great Contemporary, the Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill; and all of our brothers and sisters in this country, in the British Commonwealth and in the world round, who would keep green his legacy of commitment, character, and courage;
Renew, we ask, our defiance in defeat, our resolution in war, our magnanimity in victory, and our good will in peace—especially in times when those who are half-blind may seem rather far from being half-ready;
Receive, we beseech Thee, our thanksgiving for the leadership of this Society, for our speakers, for the food before us, and for the fellowship we share,
That, refreshed, we may so bear ourselves, that even a thousand years hence, the hours of our lives may not be found wanting in Thy sight, nor the pudding of our purpose be found devoid of an ennobling theme.
Remembering, in the Action this Day, also Saint Andrew and our Right, may we offer this our prayer in gratitude, with zeal, and not altogether without relish: for the glory of Thy Holy Name. Amen.
Get the Churchill Bulletin delivered to your inbox once a month.