Our presidential election comes this year during an anxious time, and our elected leader will engage directly with profoundly urgent themes for our nation and the world, unlike anything else we’ve experienced in this century.
Prayer is the pathway we beat between our door and God’s, and is always warranted. Anxious times and urgent themes are circumstances that warrant prayer in particular.
The Bishops of the Episcopal Dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts urge that 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.”
If people would otherwise pray individually for our democracy and its functioning, then the church – as the assembled faithful – ought to provide space for this to happen communally.
Morning and Evening Prayer are two conventional forms of daily prayer traditional to the Episcopal Church, and derived from the practice of the early church to mark the times of the day with prayer, and to express the traditions of communities of prayer.
The election will take place, the people will vote, and we then must step forward on a path of healing through God’s grace. The Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan and St. Michael’s in Milton will share prayer time on Election Day and the day after. Come for Compline (a variant on Evening Prayer) at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Tuesday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m., and for Morning Prayer at St. Michael’s on Wednesday, November 9, at 6:30 a.m.
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]