I have spent some time this morning meditating on prayers that have been written over the years with regard to 9/11. I am so grateful to have found one website in particular that memorialized the 10th anniversary with a page of prayers and blessings from many faith and secular traditions.
I am including a few here that in particular touched my spirit. My own personal prayer expressed hope and tenderness and longing and forgiveness. May you too find your own words to remember the impact this day has made on the lives and spirits of many.
A Jewish Prayer by Rabbi David Wolpe
Dear God, how do we pray for what was lost? We cannot pray for deliverance or a miracle, for the tragedy has already burned itself into our souls. Children have grown fatherless. Families are long since bereaved. We know there is no prayer to change the past. So we pray to live with memory, with constant love, with the promise both to combat evil and to cherish goodness. Do not let our pain cloud our hopes or crush our hearts. Help us grow through this tragedy, keep faith with its victims, and sustain our trust in You.
A Christian Prayer by Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis
Loving God of Peace: On this anniversary of unbelievable sorrow, comfort those who mourn, and guide our hearts toward healing and hope. Remind us of the love of Christ, love which leapt over cultural and ethnic boundaries to feed the hungry, seek the lost and care for the least. Make of Your children, no matter how we name You, one human family, bound together in the work of justice and peacemaking. Make us one with the Light that shines in the darkness and illumines a path toward understanding and reconciliation. Let love be our genuine call. Amen.
A Buddhist Reflection by Sharon Salzberg
Willa, my godchild, was three, and lived 2 blocks away from the WTC on Sept 11, 2001. She was 7 years old at the time of the London metro bombing. On being told about the London terrorism, her eyes ﬁlled with tears and she said, “Mom, we should say a prayer.” Willa begin with, “May the bad people remember the love in their hearts.” I think of Willa and her prayer — when I have been hurt or harmed, when I myself make a mistake, when I feel the need to try to start over, however difﬁcult that may feel. Whatever has happened or is happening in our lives, may we all remember the love in our hearts. Lovingkindness meditation You can sit comfortably, or lie down if that seems preferable. Close your eyes, or leave them slightly open. This practice is done through the silent repetition of certain phrases. You need not try to force an emotion or a certain sentiment. The power of the practice comes from gathering all our attention around one phrase at a time. If your attention slips, gently let go of the distraction, and simply begin again repeating the phrases. Remember to repeat them with enough space and enough silence that the rhythm is pleasing to you. This is the song of your heart. We begin with directing the phrases towards ourselves, as though offering ourselves a gift. You can experiment with the wording, but it can be as simple as, “May I remember, and abide in the love in my heart.” After a few minutes think of someone who has helped you — a benefactor or a friend. You can repeat the same phrase as an offering to them, “May you remember, and abide in the love in your heart.” When you feel ready, move on to someone you hardly know, a near stranger. Perhaps the checkout person at the grocery store you shop at, or a friend of a friend of a friend. “May you remember, and abide in the love in your heart.” Then someone you are annoyed at, or have some difﬁculty with. “May you remember, and abide in the love in your heart.” And ﬁnally, an immense expanse of lovingkindness. “May all beings remember, and abide in the love in our hearts.” When you are ready, you can end the meditation, and see if you can bring some of this consciousness into your day.
A Sikh Prayer by Dr. Satpal Singh
The One Universal Creator of all, our Divine Mother and Father In Your blessings we find true and lasting comfort and peace Grant healing and solace to our wounded hearts Grant us strength to bear the loss of loved ones and to live in Your Will Grant us resilience in the face of hate, and the courage to face it with dignity May we all unite and share one another’s pain and tears May the hatred in the world melt away in Your boundless and everlasting love And living in Your Will, may all find peace, harmony and serenity.
A Pagan Blessing by Grove Harris
By the Earth that is Her body By the Air that is Her breath By the Fire of Her bright spirit By the Waters of her living womb Let the Peace of the Goddess grow in our hearts. Peace as we honor our dead with undying memory. Peace as the tears of grief are shed. Peace as we remember the world sharing our pain. Peace as the flood waters are receding. Peace as we understand that we are all mostly water. Literally. Let the waters of compassion flow. Let the healing continue. We are whole. Blessed be.