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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff on 26 December 2019

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff, U.S. Navy Chaplain (Ret)., Washington D.C.
Date of Prayer: 2019-12-26


Contribute a translation English (source)

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Almighty God,
we pray, reflect, meditate in different ways,
and during these holy days —
Christmas, Ḥanukkah, Kwanzaa, more —
some sing different songs,
reflecting the beauty,
diversity,
of communities, cultures, faiths
that make our nation rich.

Yet we Americans,
we the people,
share songs of unity beyond diversity.
When we embrace our nation’s highest dreams,
our lives become its songs.

Of America, we sing:
“O beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years.”[1]Katharine Lee Bates, “America the Beautiful” (1895).
Of America, we sing:
“O beautiful for heroes proved,
in liberating strife
Who more than self,
their country love,
And mercy more than life.”[2]Ibid.

God bless our lives,
our leaders,
with a patriot dream
of love of country,
love of mercy,
freedom,
justice —
over party,
over self;
to cooperate,
sacrifice,
even compromise
for the “art of the possible,”[3]Prince Otto von Bismarck: “Die Politik ist die Lehre vom Möglichen.” In its oft quoted English translation: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable…the art of the next best.” This sentence was printed in the newspaper St. Petersburgische Zeitung, on August 11, 1867. Reprinted in Fürst Bismarck: neue Tischgespräche und Interviews, Vol. 1, p. 248, (1895). Thanks to shmoop.com for the source of this quote.
for the greater good.

God bless America, we sing.[4]Cf. “God Bless America” for Armistice Day, by Irving Berlin (1918/1938). 
Help us, we pray,
forever make this nation worthy
of that blessing
and that song.

וְנֹאמַר
אָמֵן׃
And let us say,
Amen.

Source(s)

116th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 165, No. 208 — Daily Edition (December 26, 2019)

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Katharine Lee Bates, “America the Beautiful” (1895).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Prince Otto von Bismarck: “Die Politik ist die Lehre vom Möglichen.” In its oft quoted English translation: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable…the art of the next best.” This sentence was printed in the newspaper St. Petersburgische Zeitung, on August 11, 1867. Reprinted in Fürst Bismarck: neue Tischgespräche und Interviews, Vol. 1, p. 248, (1895). Thanks to shmoop.com for the source of this quote.
  4. Cf. “God Bless America” for Armistice Day, by Irving Berlin (1918/1938).

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