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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Harold P. Smith on 4 December 1963

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Harold P. Smith, Congregation Agudath Achim of South Shore, Chicago, Illinois
Date of Prayer: 4 December 1963


Contribute a translationSource (English)

Almighty Father,
emerging as we now do
from the darkened valley of irretrievable loss,
and rising, as we now do,
from the throes of crushing adversity,
we come to Thee
for Thy divine blessings and guidance;
for the restoration of spirit
which can come only from Thy divine light.

Immersed though we be
in somber thoughtfulness,
we nevertheless see ample reason
for gratitude and consolation
in the demonstrated capacity
of our great and glorious Republic
to carry on,
in our saddest and darkest hours,
with strength and determination,
with peacefulness and orderliness,
with respectful relegation of party differences—
all characteristic only of free world democracies.

We continue to pray,
as we always shall,
for the soul of our fallen leader,
John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
We pray also,
from the very depths of our being,
for the welfare of our newly risen leader,
Lyndon B. Johnson.
Bless him, we pray Thee,
with long life,
good health,
and Thy divinely replenished resources,
that he might continue, as he has started,
with honor,
and courage,
to meet the weighty burdens
and overwhelming responsibilities
which have so suddenly been thrust upon him.

We ask, also, Thy benign blessings
upon the Speaker of the House
and upon all our esteemed legislators
whose awesome responsibilities
in these epochal times
of unpredictable events
call upon them to make decisions
which affect the permanent destiny
not only of their own countrymen,
but of all mankind.

May they honor
the deep trust we have placed in them
by finding, this day,
new vistas of insight
which Thou alone canst supply;
that they might shed
a new and alleviating light
upon the crucial issues
which oft divide us one from another
in these critical times
when unity and good will
are so vitally needed
for survival.

Help us, O Lord, help us;
that we in these blessed United States of America,
shall indeed be united States,
and that all of us shall approach
and solve our problems
with love and understanding,
in a united state.


88th Congress, 1st Session. Issue: Vol. 109, part 18, p. 23271 — Daily Edition (December 4, 1963)

Congressional Record, 88th Congress, 1st Session, vol. 109, part 18, p. 23271 (4 December 1963)




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