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Notes on Prayers

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the authors and publishers for permission to use their copyrighted material. Every effort has been made to contact original sources. Omissions will be rectified in future editions.

Prayers to God in Heaven

  • 1. William C. Segal is a philosopher, painter and writer who devotes himself to the study of man's place in the universe.

  • 2. Abraham Isaac Kook (Rav Kook) 1865-1935. Mystic, philosopher, saint, Talmudic scholar. Orot Hakodesh, The Lights of Holiness. Paulist Press.

  • 3. ``Caedmon's Hymn.'' Caedmon (fl. 670). A lay brother at an English monastery who feared the custom of singing at meals until, in a dream, a voice instructed him to sing of the Creation. Transformed, he wrote inspired biblical verse, including this grace, which holds a distinctive place in English poetry as the earliest known text in English (composed in Northumbrian dialect).

  • 4. The Bhagavad Gita is the ``Song of the Lord (5th century ha-motsi (bread). Reciting this benediction is in accordance with the rabbinic view that ``it is forbid-den for anyone to enjoy a good thing of this world without a blessing.''

  • 7. Jewish grace after meals (Birkat ha-mazon). A series of blessings and prayers recited after any meal which includes the eating of bread. The first blessing, traditionally ascribed to Moses, is of a universal character, praising God for sustaining all His creatures with food.

  • 8. Burkina Faso, West Africa. Courtesy of the Embassy of Burkina Faso to the United States.

  • 9. West African prayer. From I Sing Your Praise All the Day Long: Young Africans at Prayer, by Fritz Pawelzik. ;cW 1967 by Friendship Press Inc. Used by permission.

  • 10. Armenian Prelacy Diary. Permission of the Armenian Prelacy, Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian.

  • 11. Prayer by St. Cyril of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Alexandria

  • 12.The Thanksgiving Hymns. The Dead Sea Scrolls (2nd century Scroll of the Hodayat (thanksgiving).

  • 13. Numbers 6:24-26, Hebrew Bible. Taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, (c) 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

  • 14. Terpander of Lesbos, c. 676 Wine in the Ancient World, C. Seltman. RoutLedge & Kegan Paul. Used by permission.

  • 15. Medieval Latin hymn, ``Veni, Creator Spiritus,'' ascribed to Gregory the Great (7th century) or Hrabanus Maurus (9th century) translated by the English poet John Dryden (1631-1700). It has spawned many versions, the best known by Dryden.

  • 16. The Book of Common Prayer, 18th century, Anglican and Episcopalian Churches. Our Use of This World's Goods. Prayers for a New World by John Wallace Suter, Macmillan Pub-lishing Company, New York.

  • 17. Christian prayer. This prayer employs a dramatic silent moment as a meaningful way to give thanks and reflect on life. Quakers use a wholly silent prayer. Prayer courtesy of Rev. John M. Allin, 23rd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA.

  • 18. The Lord's Prayer. Matthew 6:9-13. This essential Christian prayer is also found in Luke 11:2-4.

  • 19. Graces for meals from Gelasianum Sacrementarium (6th century) confirm the early practice of table prayers among Christians. These graces are from the oldest extant altar book used in the Roman Catholic rite. Courtesy of Rev. Thomas A. Krosnicki, SVD, Divine World Missionaries.

  • 20. Christian doxology. A hymn of praise to God. Doxa (Greek) means glory. Early Christian rites adopted from the synagogue the custom of ending each prayer with a doxa. Gloria Patri et Spirtu Sancto is known as the little doxology, the great doxology being Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

  • 21. B'kol Echad, In One Voice. Ed. Cantor Jeffrey Shiovitz. United Synagogue of Jewish Conservatism. Used by permission.

  • 22. From the Liturgy of the Falasha of Abyssinia. Falasha are Ethiopians of Jewish faith. Used by permission of Yale University Press. Introduction and sources translated by Wolf Leslau. Falasha Anthology ;cW 1951.

  • 23. Kankana-ey Tribe, Igorot Indians, Northern Luzon, the Philippines. All Igorot meals have religious undertones. Courtesy Bishop Narcisco V. Ticobay, Philippine Episcopal Church.

  • 24. Author unknown.

  • 25. Prayers from an Island (Hawaii), Richard Wong.

    26. Universal Muslim prayer. Allah is the Arabic name for God. There are over eight hundred million followers of the Muslim faith worldwide.

  • 27. Sufi blessing. Sufism, which dates from the seventh century, is the esoteric dimension of the Islamic faith, an inner spiritual path to a mystical union with God. Sufi ideas infuse Arab and Persian poetry.

  • 28. Ancient Hawaiian harvest chant. This prayer thanks the gods for the harvest bounty and petitions for healing the land when it is ravaged by drought.

  • 29. Tamil-speaking Hindu prayer. Tamil is the language of the Dravidian people of South India and Sri Lanka and is spoken by about 88 million people in India and 4 million in Sri Lanka.

  • 30. A Gujarati-speaking Hindu prayer. Gujarati is an Indio-Iranian (Hindu) language de-scended from Sanskrit that is spoken by over 25 million people.

  • 31. Prayer by Sri Ramana Maharshi. Zohar, The Book of Enlightenment. Translated by Daniel Chanan. Used by permission of Paulist Press ;cW 1983.

  • 32. George Herbert (1593-1633). The poet was a clergyman in the Church of England. Courtesy of Rev. John M. Allin, 23rd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA.

  • 33. William Shakespeare (1564-1616). The Second Part of King Henry VI, I. i. 19-20.

  • 34. Text by John Milton, 1608-1674, English poet. Often sung as a hymn with music by J. S. Bach.

  • 35. John Wesley (1703-1791). Founder of the Methodist Church and brother of Charles Wesley, he pioneered open-air preaching to common people in the fields.

  • 36. Charles Wesley (1707-1788), the ``sweet singer of Methodism'' the most gifted and prolific of all English hymnwriters (7,270 compositions).

  • 37. Author unknown. Christ's College, Cambridge, England. 1535.

  • 38. The Book of Common Prayer, 16th century, used in both Anglican and Episcopalian churches.

  • 39. Ancient Egyptian prayer to Hapi, the Nile God of nourishment, petitioning for the flood that enriches the fields.

  • 40. African morning invocation. From The Prayers of African Religion. Used by permission of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

  • 41. Prayer from China. Reprinted from Mealtime Prayers by Mildred Tengbom, ;cW 1985 Augsburg Publishing House. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress.

  • 42. From Pakistan.

  • 43. Alcuin of York, 735-804, was a medieval Christian scholar in the court of Charle-magne. A prolific liturgical writer, he invented a handwriting style called Caroline minus-cule which used both small and capital letters, improving the readability of books through roman type.

  • 44. See #21.

  • 45. From the Mahabharata, the Sanskrit epic of India, the longest single poem in the world. It is the foremost source on classical Indian civilization and Hindu ideals. Com-posed between 200 Tantraasara, an ancient Vedic Sanskrit text. In the Hindu faith the goddess Devi is creatrix and nourisher of the world analogous to the Christian notion of the ``Mother of God.'' She bears the fruit of all knowledge. The goddess Annapurna provided food.A Poet's Grace. Scottish farmer, poet and songwriter.

  • 56. White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands: The Story of the Fasola Folk, Their Songs, Sing-ings, and ``Buckwheat Notes.'' George Pullen Jackson. Dover Publications Inc. 1965.

  • 57. A prayer of the Armenian Church (Lebanon), founded according to tradition by Apos-tles Thaddeus and Bartholomew. The Bible was translated into Armenian in the 5th cen-tury.

  • 58. John 6:11, Christian Bible.

  • 59. 1 Corinthians 10:31, Christian Bible.

  • 60. Matthew 4:4, Christian Bible.

  • 61. Prayers & Graces of Thanksgiving. P. S. McElroy (comp.). Peter Pauper Press. 1966. Used with permission.

  • 62. Presbyterian prayer. Calvinist Protestant denomination of the national Church of Scot-land.

  • 63. Coptic Orthodox Liturgy, Egypt.

  • 64. The 112 Upanishads are sacred scriptures of Hinduism, c. 900 brahman, the ultimate reality of pure consciousness, and the identity of brahman with atman, the inner self of man. The Principal Upanishad. S. Radhakirshman, editor and trans., HarperCollins, 1989.

  • 65. Prayer used in the Eucharist in India. Courtesy Longman House, England.

  • 66. A praise song from the Balubas (Lubas), a Bantu-speaking people of Zaire. They were a cohesive tribe in the 17th century in the Congo.

  • 67. Prayer in the Religious Traditions of Africa. Aylward Shorter. Oxford University Press: New York and Nairobi. 1975.

  • 68. Prayer by Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), American Baptist minister. Reprinted from Mealtime Prayers by Mildred Tengbom, ;cW 1985 Augsburg Publishing House. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress.

  • 69. Courtesy of Sister Judith Marie Saenz, Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sac-rament.

  • 70. Henry Alford (1810-1871). English poet, hymnist and Biblical scholar chiefly noted for his monumental critical edition of the Greek New Testament.

    Prayers in Thanks for the Bounty of the Earth

  • 71. This prayer is said to the rhythm of ``talking drums'' every three weeks at a ceremony honoring the Ashanti ancestors, in Central Ghana. Celebrating Nature. Elizabeth Helfman, ed. 1969.

  • 72. Pre-Hispanic Nahuatl blessing (13th century Mexico's Feasts of Life, 1989. Patricia Quintana, with Carol Haralson.

  • 73. Nahuatl is the language of the ancient Aztec empire, still spoken today (Mexico). 16th-century manuscript in Nahuatl. Poesia Nahuatl, National Library of Mexico.

  • 74. Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian spiritual leader who asserted the unity of mankind under one God and preached Christian, Muslim and Hindi ethics.

  • 75. Hindu prayer.

  • 76. Rigoberta Menchau is a Mayan-Quichae woman from Guatemala who has become a voice of the poor and oppressed indigenous peoples of her country. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. I, Rigoberta Menchau: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Verso, London.

  • 77. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In 1940, she founded the Catholic order Sisters and Brothers of Charity and has dedicated her life to the service of the poorest of the poor all over the world.

  • 78. Excerpt from The Spiral Dance by Starhawk, a feminist author. Copyright ;cW 1979 by Miriam Simos. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

  • 79. A prayer of the Zinacanteaan Indians. Courtesy of Fr. Joseph L Asturias O.P. Dominican Mission Foundation.

  • 80. Reprinted from Mealtime Prayers by Mildred Tengbom, ;cW 1985 Augsburg Publishing House. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress.

  • 81. Author unknown, c. 1400.

  • 82. John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892). The American Quaker poet and bard of the common man composed over 100 hymns. Everybody's Song Book. George S. Dare, comp. 1938.

  • 83. Iroquois. He'-no is the guardian of rain and thunder. Note that this prayer progresses from earth to the sky. Trans. by Ely S. Parker in 1851.

  • 84. Ascribed to Muhammad (c. 570-632), founder of the Islamic faith. His revelations became the basis of the Koran, which is considered to be the direct word of God.

  • 85. Psalm 104:13-15, Hebrew Bible.

  • 86. Psalm 67, Hebrew Bible.

  • 87. Adapted from the Gaelic.

  • 88. Traditional hymn, England.

  • 89. In this prayer an Indian addresses the deer he has killed. Out of respect for the life taken he begs forgiveness, and expresses pity. Permission from E. J. Brill Publishers. For-gotten Gods: Primitive Mind From a Traveller's Point of View. K. Herman Bouman, 1949.

  • 90. This Osage Indian song is sung in celebration of the first corn of the season. It is sung by the mother as she runs to tell her children the exciting news of their new crop. The Salishan Tribes of the Western Plateaus, James A. Tiet, in Forty-fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-29). Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Press, 1930.

    91. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179. German abbess and author of Scivias, an account of her twenty-six mystical visions. A prolific writer, she was one of the most original intellects of medieval Europe.

  • 92. Author unknown.

  • 93. Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321. La Divina Commedia, Canto XXVI. Used by permission of Christopher E. Knopf.

  • 94. Permission of Father John Giuliani. The Benedictine Grange.

  • 95. John Wesley (1703-1791). This blessing is often sung to the tune ``Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.'' See #35.

  • 96. Chief Dan George of the Tell-lall-wwatt Indians (Canada). Oscar nominee for Little Big Man and an eloquent spokesperson for the environment.

  • 97. Buddha in Itivuttaka, No. 26. In Theravada Buddhism there is a strong emphasis on the practice of giving as an essential religious act and on generosity as one of the most admired spiritual goals. The Itivuttaka: The Buddha's Sayings, translated by John D. Ireland. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publications Society, 1991.

  • 98. Grace of the Bodhisattva Buddhists (Seekers of Religious Enlightenment). Courtesy of Dr. Arthadarshan. The Office of the Western Buddhist Order. Norwich, U.K.

  • 99. Chinook Psalter. Chinook are Native American Indians from Oregon.

  • 100. Angelus Silesius, aka Johannes Scheffler (1624-1677), German mystic and poet. The Cherubinic Wanderer by Angelus Silesius, trans. by Willard R. Trask, ;cW 1953 Pantheon Books. Copyright renewed. Used by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

  • 101. This prayer is known as the Five Reflections. Trans. by Eido Tai Shinano Roshe from traditional Rinzai Zen text. ;cW 1982 by the Zen Studies Society Press. New York, New York. Used by their permission.

  • 102. Millet prayer of the Ainos (Archipelago of Japan). Sir James George Frazer. The New Golden Bough: A New Abridgment of the Classic Work. Edited and with Notes and Forward, by Theodore H. Gaster, ed. ;cW 1959 S. G. Phillips, Inc.

  • 103. This is a harvest seed prayer of the Navajo and Blackfoot Indians. The Writer & the Shaman. El;aaemire Zolla.

  • 104. Pre-Hispanic Nahuatl Blessing (13th c. Mexico's Feasts of Life, 1989. Patricia Quintana, with Carol Harolson.

  • 105. Prayer for the Sabbath. Book of Blessings: A Feminist-Jewish Reconstruction of Prayer. Marcia Falk. Feminist American poet. Copyright ;cW 1990 by Marcia Falk. Reprint by per-mission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

  • 106. ``Father's Clansman'' is a respectful address to the sun. In this prayer a thanks-offering is being made to the sun. Translated from Crow by Robert Lowie, 1935. Used by permis-sion of Irvington Press.

  • 107. George Herbert (1593-1633).

  • 108. Devotional Services, John Hunter. Permission of JM Dent Publishers.

  • 109. Arapaho (North American Indian) chant. Universal Folk Songster. Florence Hudson Botsford, compiler.

  • 110. Eskimo. The World of the American Indian. Copyright National Geographic Society. ;cW 1974.

  • 111. Marion Williams, American gospel singer. The Gospel Sound. Tony Heilbut, 1971.

  • 112. A popular song among Christians against the belief that God is dead, which was gaining support in academia. Lyrics by Lawrence Reynolds. ;cW 1969 by Tree Publishing Co., Inc. and Harlan Howard Songs. International Copyright Secured. All rights reserved.

  • 113. An Igorot Indian harvest prayer from the highlands of Northern Luzon, the Philip-pines. A chicken is offered as a thanksgiving for a bountiful crop before being cooked for the family meal. Courtesy of Arvilla L. Cortez.

  • 114. A corn ceremony chant, the Zuni Indians of New Mexico. Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1883-84), Washingon, D.C., 1887. From The Salishan Tribes of the Western Plateaus by James A. Teit, in Forty-fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-29), Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Press, 1930.

  • 115. The Hako, a Pawnee Ceremony, from Four Winds by Gene Meany Hodge, courtesy of Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • 116. Ancient Hindu blessing.

  • 117. Hindu poem. Hindu Mythology: Vedic and Puranic. Permission given by William Joseph Wilkins.

  • 118. Abraham ibn Ezra, Spain (1092-1167). From his poem God Everywhere. He was a Judaic scholar and Spanish poet.

  • 119. The Book of Hours. Congregation of Abraxas, a Unitarian Universalist Order for Litur-gical and Spiritual Renewal. 1985.

  • 120. John Lame Deer, Sioux Indian. From Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions by John Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes: Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020.

  • 121. A Seneca poem of thanks. Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indians of North America. Jerome Rothenberg. Reprint by permission of Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. Copyright ;cW 1972 by Jerome Rothenberg.

  • 122. Christian prayer.

  • 123. Monica Shannon. American author. Words of Life. Charles Langsworth Wallis. 1982.

  • 124. Tecumseh (1768-1813). Chief of the Shawnee Indians.

  • 125. Sacred Navajo food chant to attract the attention of the gods to make the fields fertile and the crops grow.

  • 126. Prayer by Julian of Norwich (d.c. 1443). English religious writer, also known as Mother Juliana, who in 1373 had 16 mystical visions of Jesus, which she extoled in her Revelations of Divine Love. Reprinted from Meditations with Julian of Norwich, edited by Brandan Doyle, Copyright ;cW 1983, Bear and Co. Inc., PO Box 2860, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

  • 127. Arthur Guiterman, 1871-1943. All About American Holidays. Maymie Krythe.

  • 128. Nancy Byrd Turner.

  • 129. Excerpt from Jambalaya by Luisah Tesh, American writer. Copyright ;cW 1985 by Luisah Tesh. Reprint by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

  • 130. Prayer Poems: An Anthology for Today. Compiled by O. V. and Helen Armstrong. Copy-The Indians' Book. Natalie Curtis, ed. ;cW 1968. Dover Publications. Used by permission.

  • 133. Grace in sign language (ASL). Composed by the author. Grace and artwork copy-righted by Adrian Butash ;cW 1993.

  • 134. Child's grace in sign language (ASL). Composed by the author. Text of grace and artwork copyrighted by Adrian Butash ;cW 1993.

  • 135. BLESS THIS FOOD--a universal grace. The title of this book may be said as a grace, in any language, throughout the world.

     
    
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