As our nation approaches its Election Day on Nov. 8, we have a deep yearning for the Holy Spirit to be present in our national life. Individually, we express this yearning in a variety of ways according to personal conscience. Collectively, we are called to express this yearning through prayer.
We must pray that God be at work in our electoral process. We must pray for a peaceful transition, no matter the outcome of our elections. We must pray that the demonization of one another’s opponents which has characterized this election not be further stoked by its outcome. We must pray that all those elected on that day be moved, strengthened and guided by the Spirit, to lead us through fractious and dangerous times. We must pray in gratitude for those who, with sacrifice of self and noble intent, step up to lead our common life.
We the Episcopal bishops in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts call for a vigil period of intense prayer from noon on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6 through noon on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. The particulars of such prayer in our congregations will vary according to local parish traditions and planning. For some it may be as simple as concluding the Sunday prayers with an extended Litany for the Nation, or holding a special form of Morning Prayer on Nov. 8. Others may wish to hold extended vigils, with prayer in shifts offering continuous intercession.
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of this land in the election of officials and representatives, that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [Book of Common Prayer, p. 822]
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop, Diocese of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop, Diocese of Western Massachusetts
St. Stephen’s is an open and affirming Christian church worshiping in the Anglican tradition. Crossing lines of color, class, culture and generation, we seek transformation of our lives and our community through Christ’s Gospel of love, compassion and justice.
The Rev. Jane Gould – Rector
The Rev. Sarah van Gulden – Urban Resident
The Rev. Joseph Ngotho – Kiswahili Pastor