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On this festival,
we remember with gratitude
the heroes of the past,
and we give thanks also
for the brave men and women of today.
do Thou let us also serve Thee
according to the measure of our strength.
We would try to keep pure and holy
the faith for which our fathers struggled and suffered,
and through which they triumphed.
We know that in some lands
people are made to suffer terribly,
and even little children are not allowed to be happy.
Show us how when we are old enough,
we may be of some little use
in making the world
a little more loving and more just.
Let us begin at once
to prepare by being gentler and kinder
to everybody we meet.
It is sometimes difficult, O Lord,
to fight against wrongdoing,
to speak the whole truth,
to be industrious and earnest in our work,
and unselfish and good tempered in our play.
Again and again, we try,
and again and again we make mistakes.
Help us to be faithful, loving and forgiving,
and to do what is right
even when the right path
seems for the moment
difficult and uncomfortable.
Give us courage, O Lord,
to bear sickness, sorrow and pain
whenever they may come to us,
courage to try faithfully and hopefully
to seek peace and joy
for those who are unhappy,
to remember Thee at all times,
and to call upon Thy name.
This “Prayer for Chanukah” (5 December 1942) by the Hon. Lily H. Montagu (1873-1963) from the archives of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London, was published in, Lily Montagu: Sermons, Addresses, Letters, and Prayers (ed. Ellen M. Umansky, 1985), p. 352-353.
“[Children’s] Prayer for Ḥanukkah, by Lilian Helen Montagu (5 December 1942)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
Prayer for a Service of Intercession [for European Jewry during the Holocaust], by Lilian Helen Montagu (ca. 1940)
תפילה ליום הודו על חנוכּה | Prayer for when Thanksgiving Day falls during Ḥanukkah, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)
Prayer for Military Personnel on Active Service (Office of the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire 1940)