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Prayer on the New Moon, by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau (1852)


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Father of all! Thou to whom millions raise their silent thanks; Thou, the Omniscient, who knowest even every soft heaving that moves our breast, every silent longing that buoys up our heart; hear me also when on this day, which Thou, according to the teachings of our pious ancestors, hast appointed for the pardon of sins, I call in deep humility upon Thee, merciful Father, to forgive the sins which I may have committed in the month just elapsed, against Thee and against my fellow creatures. Well do I perceive that the pleasures arising from sin are not lastingly gratifying; well I know that, sooner or later, shame, grief, remorse and reproach will follow upon the gratification which sin offers; well do I feel that even the repose which sin promises is, indeed, only the drowning and stifling of everything that is really important and sacred to me; I also am convinced that this pretended repose will be interrupted as often as my conscience grows alive within me, and I become myself again. Therefore, I beseech Thee, O Heavenly Father, assist me, that this conscientiousness be ever present before my mind, so that I may renounce sin only from this and similar noble motives, and that my contempt of sin may only flow from such pure sources. O, support me then, O God, who delighteth in repentance and penitence, so that I may always watch over my heart, ever to conquer wicked purposes, by a conviction of what is really good, and my innate freedom be not snatched from me by the violence of sin. Lend me the power to resign all unlawful transient gratification, and to seek salvation in striving after that which is eternal, and to seek truth and virtue in Thy faith. Renew, O All-merciful God, this month for good and for blessing, for joy and delight for as, for all Israel, and for all mankind. Amen.






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