Holy Father’s upcoming prayer at Ground Zero

The booklet with all the services for the Pope’s USA trip is available.  (There is an appendix in the back with prayers in Latin, btw.)

This caught my eye:

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

At the conclusion of the prayer, the Holy Father is handed an aspergillum.
He blesses the ground in all four directions.

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25 Responses to Holy Father’s upcoming prayer at Ground Zero

  1. Douglas says:

    What’s most interesting, at a first glance, is the fact that the Magnificat utilized for his first Vespers (found on page 13, pdf page 9) is not in conformity with the current Liturgia Horarum. It’s the older, Pius XII(?) version. What does this imply (if anything)? What other similar differences are there throughout this Ordo for His Holiness’ Pastoral Visit?

  2. Douglas says:

    What’s most interesting, at a first glance, is the fact that the Magnificat utilized for his first Vespers (found on page 13, pdf page 9) is not in conformity with the current Liturgia Horarum. It’s the older, Pius XII(?) version. What does this imply (if anything)? What other similar differences are there throughout this Ordo for His Holiness’ Pastoral Visit?

  3. Maureen says:

    That’s not bad. Not bad at all.

  4. Douglas: Interesting! Good catch.

    I don’t think it means too much. I suspect that the person who put it together didn’t have a Latin Liturgia horarum and either got the Latin text from the internet or from an old Breviarium Romanum

  5. I think it’s great that he’s doing this.

    I was hoping he might mention Father Judge, who perished there, providing spiritual comfort to the wounded. That is his decision, of course, but I hope the holy father is aware of Father Judge. It’s an inspiring story.

  6. Ioannes says:

    I thought the use of “our” before “firefighters” was very skillfully (and appropriately) chosen.

  7. Emilio says:

    All I can say is WOW.

  8. MMajor Fan says:

    When I gaze at that picture I am reminded of the small gem of a Greek Orthodox church that was totally crushed and destroyed also. It was in the parking lot to the left of the footbridge that remains (on the right side of the photograph).

  9. Angelo says:

    In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of
    the Holy Ghost/Spirit. Amen.

    Almighty & Eternal God, most mericiful Father … etc.
    ….per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum qui
    tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spirtus Sancti: Deus
    per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

  10. MMajor: I didn’t know a church was destroyed.

  11. Michael C. says:

    “Turn to your way of love
    those whose hearts and minds
    are consumed with hatred.”

    Hmmm…sounds a lot like the pope is praying for the coversion of the terrorists. I hope he has a clarification document planned for when they’re offended!

  12. Marc says:

    Does anyone else feel an intimate and great closeness to our holy father?

    Remember to pray for him and his intentions in your daily prayers.

    Brick by brick!

    Marc, St. Paul, MN

  13. EDG says:

    How beautiful! I am so touched that he is doing this, and it is so wonderful that he will be blessing the place. I was very apprehensive about what he was going to say.

    I remember the Sunday after Sept. 11, when I went to Mass at a church that was to receive a visit from a bishop (who shall remain nameless). The bishop was a well known “peace and justice” guy, and gave one of the most offensive homilies I have ever heard in my life, where he essentially said that the US deserved the attack, and then compared it to one time when he had a gold chain ripped off his neck when he was travelling in a poor country. It made him mad, and then he realized he had to forgive the thief because he was rich and the thief was poor, and anyway, it wasn’t that important after all. All this while the rubble was still smoldering and they were gathering human remains from every point.

    That a religious person could blithely compare the horrible deaths of thousands of people to having a chain-snatcher grab his chain absolutely floored me. That the man was a Catholic bishop was even worse. Since then I have really dreaded hearing anything about 9/11 in a Catholic church, and I was bracing myself for the Pope’s words. But I should have known better. His words are wonderful, kind, prayerful and the words of a believer – who just happens, thank God, to be Pope!

  14. T. Chan says:

    website for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the WTC:
    http://www.stnicholasnyc.com/

  15. david andrew says:

    I first read the text of this prayer over at “Off the Record.” Diogenes really takes the writer to task, characterizing this as not so much a prayer as a speech. He then makes his way through the entire text, fisking as he goes.

    I found nothing objectionable with the text, and wonder if Diogenes is making too much of it.

  16. Kradcliffe says:

    I didn’t know about St. Nicholas’ church, either. How sad about the loss of their sacred relics. I hope they are able to rebuild, soon.

  17. Maureen says:

    *shrug* It could have been more beautiful and purely religious, sure. But honestly, the
    Pope’s not going to Ground Zero as a purely liturgical, Catholic act. He’s performing an
    act of public, civic religion. As such, he has obligations to pray in a way that even
    non-believers can understand. However, I think combining civic piety with a purely Catholic
    act of blessing and exorcism — that’s very well thought of. He’s reminding people that it’s
    holy ground — a cemetery. It moves things away from purely civic piety and into the sacred.

    Also, people like going to a service where they get something — even if it’s just holy
    water spritzed in their faces. :)

  18. Melody says:

    Considering that many remains were so destroyed that geneticists were called, I find the act of blessing the ground very meaningful. It’s a graveyard. It might as well be a consecrated one.

  19. PAX
    here is the long version, of The Holy Fathers Video message to America.
    http://www.lovetobecatholic.com/video_1305_Pope_Benedict__USA.html

  20. Angelo says:

    Maureen,

    To refuse to mention the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in a prayer offered by one who is the Vicar of Christ on earth is a major offense against God. It is also an offense against the souls of all men, whether Catholic or non-Catholic, as it gives the impression that are indeed times when it is opportune and prudent to refrain from speaking the Name above all Names because It might “offend” others or cause unnecessary “divisions” or “hard feelings.”

    Any self-respecting Grand Master of a Masonic lodge could utter the words that will be “prayed” by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on Sunday, April 20, 2008, at the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center, a place that has been called since Tuesday, September 11, 2001, as “Ground Zero.”

    Any self-respecting Talmudic rabbi could utter the words that will be “prayed” by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on Sunday, April 20, 2008, at the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center, a place that has been called since Tuesday, September 11, 2001, as “Ground Zero.”

    Any self-respecting Mohammedan imam could utter the words that will be “prayed” by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on Sunday, April 20, 2008, at the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center, a place that has been called since Tuesday, September 11, 2001, as “Ground Zero.”

    Any self-respecting Mormon or Seventh Day Adventist or Jehovah’s Witness could utter the words that will be “prayed” by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on Sunday, April 20, 2008, at the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center, a place that has been called since Tuesday, September 11, 2001, as “Ground Zero.”

    Almost any self-respecting Protestant minister, especially those of the “mainstream” Protestant sects (Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, Methodism, Lutheranism, United Church of Christ) could utter the words that will be “prayed” by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on Sunday, April 20, 2008, at the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center, a place that has been called since Tuesday, September 11, 2001, as “Ground Zero,” admitting that a few Protestant ministers of the evangelical/fundamentalist variety would be more inclined to what Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI will not do in this prayer to be offered on April 20, 2008: mention the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    No, there is no room for Christ the King at “Ground Zero” during the visit of Benedict XVI to the site where the former twin towers collapsed on September 11, 2001. This is quite appropriate. There was no room for Christ the King at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in the Borough of Manhattan of the City of New York, New York, on Wednesday, September 11, 2002, in the “homily” delivered by Edward “Cardinal” Egan.

    Yes, Benedict XVI will close the ceremony with a blessing offered in the Name of “the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” although the program printed by the conciliar Vatican and the United States Conference of Bishops does not indicate that he will start the “prayer” by making the Sign of the Cross, which all Catholics do when they begin any prayer. The Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, will not be mentioned at all in the prayer that he offers after kneeling on the ground at the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center and is offered a candle by an employee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

  21. Patrick says:

    Angelo,

    Get over yourself. The prayer is perfectly good. No doubt the Holy Father wanted a prayer that could be prayed by men of many faiths to the One True God…that’s kind of the point.

    Also, just a tip, when you use words like “conciliar Vatican” you make it really easy for people to identify you as a traditionalist whack-job.

  22. Geoffrey says:

    Patrick: Amen!

  23. Jordan Potter says:

    Angelo said: To refuse to mention the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in a prayer offered by one who is the Vicar of Christ on earth is a major offense against God.

    The Our Father is a prayer that does not mention the Holy Name, so I guess you think the Our Father is a major offense against God.

    Any self-respecting Mormon or Seventh Day Adventist or Jehovah’s Witness could utter the words that will be “prayed” by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI

    Any self-respecting Catholic could pray those words too.

    Also, why have you grouped the Seventh-Day Adventists with the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses? Mormons are polytheists and JWs are Arians, but SDAs, for all their other heresies, are Trinitarians.

    But then your reference to “Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI” suggests you are perhaps a sedevacantist or something. Why not just say “the Pope” or “the Holy Father”? And your placing the word “prayed” in scare quotes and saying the Pope will “utter” rather than “pray” the prayer is also indicative of someone whose beliefs are out on the fringe. If I’ve misjudged you, I apologise, but there are certain shibboleths you’ve used that raise questions.

  24. Jordan Potter says:

    P.S. Your suggestion that fundamentalists or evangelicals would be apt to pray without mentioning Jesus’ name definitively shows that you are wholly unfamiliar with Protestant fundamentalism and evangelicalism. They’re probably more apt to name Jesus in their prayers than Catholics are.

  25. Maureen says:

    Re: “any Muslim”

    The good folks over at Jihad Watch/Dhimmi Watch do not feel that “any Muslim” could say this prayer. In fact, they predict a Muslim hissy-fit, as they interpret this prayer as calling for the immediate conversion of Muslim terrorists to Christianity.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/020656.php

    Heh, heh. They’re probably right about the hissy-fit! And heck, that is what the Pontiff’s asking for, essentially….

    “Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred.”