As Christmas approached, I felt a need to once again visit the imaginary community of Mitford. I had missed author Jan Karon’s delightful characters and longed to spend time with them once again. I took Shepherds Abiding off my bookshelf and savored the re-read.
Toward the end of the book, the main character, Father Tim, prays. His prayer touches my heart, and I cannot think of a better way to start the New Year than to pray it with you and over you. I think this prayer must be from The Book of Common Prayer, but I am not certain.
“Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those, who in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”