I

Because we did not make ourselves;
Because we do not keep ourselves;
Because we cannot forgive ourselves;
    Our hearts reach out to you, O God.
We thank you for our creation, preservation, and redemption:
    for hills to climb,
    burdens to carry,
    temptations to resist,
    and fears to overcome.
We thank you for all that helps us in our pilgrimage:
    the remembrance of those who walked this way before us and
        did it well;
    signs of your presence, often in unlikely places, giving us to
        know that we are not alone;
    the unanswerable logic of lives given over to your service in
        selfless love;
    the work of your Holy Spirit in our minds and hearts, uniting
        for us the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith.
With all that lies within us we acclaim your goodness and speak your praise,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

II

We pray today for all those who seek as Christians to make this towering metropolis mindful of your presence:
    concerned believers, at work in radio and television, to rescue
        the public airways from their bondage to puerility and greed;
    those in the judicial process who believe that justice partakes of
        the eternal, and labor in that light;
    business leaders who shun the shoddy product and the inflated
        price in an effort to serve the public well;
    Librarians and museum keepers who delight in making their
        wares available for the flowering of our humanity;
    police officers who enforce the law fairly and with
        understanding;
    those in the performing arts who waken in us the good and
        beautiful and true;
    prison chaplains who quietly make their rounds each day,
        communicating hope;
    parents in our crowded slums who defy their grim
        surroundings and secure their children in a love that will not
        quit.
Help these, and others like them, to keep at it. And through their several ministries, gracious Father, may a city find its soul again,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

III

Play the light of your truth upon our less-than-perfect hearts, O Lord; for, left to our own understanding, we have a way of befriending sin and opposing righteousness.
Help those who pass through heavy seas to ride out the storm.

By your providence lead those who are down on themselves into some life experience in which their worth will be affirmed.

Call back to your side those who can recall a day when they loved you more.

And for those who weep the tears of the bereaved, renew the vision of earth's first Easter that they may conceive of death henceforth as one of the "all things" that work together for our good.

Keep us faithful to each other and to you, whatever comes, until on your strong arms we fall, and our work is done.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.