Purple Prayers (for the 50th Reunion Celebrations of the Class of 1953 of Williams College)
Table Grace Wednesday Night at Bob and Daphne McGill's Home
How good and sweet it is to be alive, to be here, to celebrate the years and the friendships that have endured: how very good you, God, have been to the Class of 1953, especially to those of us gathered around these tables. Take, we pray, our laughter and our enjoyment of this moment and each other, and the conviviality of feasting, as an act of praise and thanksgiving to you, if something less than the music of angels and the harmony of the spheres, yet nonetheless genuine and deeply felt, our tribute to your mercy. Amen.
Table Grace Friday in Lasell Gym
God of our days, all of them, whether filled with sunshine or with rain, smile upon us whatever the season. We could ask of you (and do) that many of our tomorrows be as well-attended as this today: the affection of old friends; the recollections of the way it was; the readiness now more than before to share each other's sorrows and celebrate each other's triumphs; and the sense, not often enough expressed, that we are more than survivors, we are among the blessed of all the earth. Let the Class of 1953 say, "Amen."
Table Grace (unspoken) for Saturday on the Lawn at Mt. Hope Farm
Great and merciful God, kind to us in double measure, from whose mind and heart the universe was born, loving God whose interest and involvement with us continues unabated, we pause in our reunion celebrations to thank you one more time, if for many things and, maybe, everything, then surely for this splendid day, the honors, the sunshine, the pleasure of each other's company, and the wonder which never ceases, that we, the Class of 1953, should have come so far in this life's journey, accomplished so much, and yet have hope for more. We bless your blessing of us, God, for this wonderful embarrassment of riches. Only grant us the wisdom and the grace to continue to give the world the full measure we have received from you. Let the Class of 1953 say it again, "Amen."
Pastoral Prayer for the Interfaith Memorial Service at Thompson Memorial Chapel
Great God, beyond every imagining, yet closer to us than the breath we draw, vast are your deeds, wonderful your victories. You have spun the galaxies into the universe. You give rise and fall to the nations. You inspire the genius of all the arts. You keep watchful eye over everything and everyone you have created, with greater care than the shepherd of the flock or the parent of the child. In the shelter of your greatness, we pause to thank you for small victories: if just to live this long, then the more to have lived it with a measure of success and prosperity; to be privileged to go through our days with wives and husbands who think we=re not so bad after all; to see our children grow, and have reason to be proud of them; to live out our days under the protection and with the promises of this fair land; and, by no means the least if the last, on this day in this place, to have received four special years of an education that opened the world to us in scores of ways. You have been good to us, God, better than we deservedY at least, better than I deserved.
In the years left to us, be they many or few, God of our small victories, grant us grace to make the most of our time, knowing that to whom much has been given shall much be expected. As generously as we have received from you everything needful, God, open our hands and hearts to be generous toward each other, including those others who have no claim on us. As lovingly as you have surrounded us with kind, sweet others, God, throw wide our arms to be a kind, thoughtful other to those who pass our way. As freely we enjoy the freedoms and opportunities of this nation, God, charge us with the mission to help make a world where such blessings can be every child=s birthright. As proudly as we celebrate the skills of mind we have developed in this college, God, summon us to spend those skills in service to the world around us.
And small victories shall begin to add up to your grand design when the stars were flung into their orbits and humankind awoke to the music of creation: that earth might ever be a place of love and joy and peace and grand reunions. Amen.
(Two additional prayers, one unison and one closing petition, may also be found in the write up and report of the '53's own memorial service in the Alumni House Sunday morning at the 10 am brunch. On this website, look under Personal Matters, Williams College Class of 1953 Memorial Gathering.)