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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Dr. Julius Mark on 29 March 1960

https://opensiddur.org/?p=55091 Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Dr. Julius Mark on 29 March 1960 2024-03-27 17:54:45 The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 29 March 1960. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Julius Mark United States Congressional Record https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Opening Prayers for Legislative Bodies United States of America 20th century C.E. תחינות teḥinot 58th century A.M. English vernacular prayer Prayers of Guest Chaplains U.S. Senate 86th Congress
Guest Chaplain: Dr. Julius Mark, senior rabbi, Temple Emanu-El, New York, New York
Sponsor: n/a
Date of Prayer: 29 March 1960


Contribute a translationSource (English)

Almighty God and Father,
for ages past men have sought Thee.
Where might they find Thee?
How might they know Thee?
Thou art as close to us as breathing,
yet art farther away than the farthermost star.
Thou art as familiar to us as the light of the sun,
yet art as inscrutable as the vast solitudes of the night.
To the seer of old Thou didst say:
“Thou canst not see my face,
but I will cause all my goodness
to pass before thee.”[1] Cf. Exodus 33:19-20 

Thus, Thy presence is manifest
in the goodness which dwells
in the hearts of all—
whether they occupy stations
that are exalted or humble—
who strive to make this world
a happier place for Thy children
of all races,
and nations to inhabit
by strengthening the bastions of freedom
and forging more securely the bonds
of human brotherhood
in Thy fatherhood.
Bless Thou
the Members of this great legislative body,
the Senate of the United States,
who have been chosen
by the citizens of our country
to preserve and advance
our precious democracy.
Gathered in this great Capital City,
upon the invitation of the President of our country,
are thousands of citizens
from every section of our land
to deliberate upon how best they can assist
our children and youth
to assume the responsibilities of citizenship
in a nation dedicated to liberty.
Wilt Thou, O Father,
cause them
and all of us to realize
that if we build in wood,
it will some day rot.
If we build in marble,
it will crumble before the onslaughts
of time.
Even if we build in steel,
it is destined to flow as water
before the melting processes
of the universe.
But if we build in human character—
if we build usefulness,
respect for law,
and simple goodness
in the lives of our youth—
then we build for eternity.

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the third month of the second session of the 86th US Congress in the Senate, and published in the Congressional Record, vol. 106, part 5 (1960), page 6731.


Congressional Record, vol. 106, part 5 (29 March 1960), p. 6731



1Cf. Exodus 33:19-20



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