As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, it is worthwhile to offer prayers of blessings for the United States. In today’s Pastor’s Corner, it seems worthwhile to bless our country with an excerpt of the blessing which Bishop Carroll offered in 1791. Bishop Carroll was the first bishop of Baltimore and his diocese was the entire United States! He mandated that his prayer of blessing upon the United States would be read at every parish. While he wrote it on November 10, 1791, it was understood that pastors would read the prayer of blessing in their parish at an appropriate time since it was unknown when his communication would reach the various states. Please make his prayer your own prayer for the United States:
“…We pray O God of might, wisdom and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with your 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 your 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 your 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 useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty…”