The opening prayer at the inaugural ceremonies was delivered by Rev. Franklin Graham (Real Audio NPR broadcast — forward to 45:47 for the prayer). You’d think he was ushering in the government from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Maybe GW could have done better by choosing a Unitarian minister to help us unite?
A transcript of the prayer:
Blessed are you, oh lord our god. Yours, oh god, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, oh lord, is the kingdom. You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you. You are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and to give strength to all. As president Lincoln once said, “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties from heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown, but we have forgotten god. It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended powers, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. Oh lord, as we come together on this historic and solemn occasion to inaugurate once again a president and vice president, teach us afresh that power, wisdom, and salvation come only from your hand. We pray, oh lord, for president-elect George W Bush and vice president-elect Richard D Cheney, to whom you have entrusted leadership of this nation at this moment in history. We pray that you’ll help them bring our country together so that we may rise above partisan politics and seek the larger vision of your will for our nation. Use them to bring reconciliation between the races, healing to political wounds, that we may truly become one nation under god. Give our new president and all who advise him calmness in the face of storms, encouragement in the face of frustration, and humility in the face of success. Give them the wisdom to know and to do what is right, and the courage to say no to all that is contrary to your statutes and holy law. Lord, we pray for their families and especially their wives, Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney, that they may sense your presence and know your love. Today we entrust to you President and Senator Clinton and Vice President and Mrs. Gore. Lead them as they journey through new doors of opportunity to serve others. Now, oh lord, we dedicate this presidential inaugural ceremony to you. may this be the beginning of a new dawn for America as we humble ourselves before you and acknowledge you alone as our lord, our savior, and our redeemer. We pray this in the name of the father, and of the son the lord Jesus Christ, and of the holy spirit. Amen.
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