Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Prayer Vigil ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Prayer Vigil ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Because of increased public awareness of terrorist threats and actual attacks around the world, a growing number of people have sought spiritual solace, comfort, and strength from prayer vigils.

Prayer vigils, however, are nothing new, as I was reminded when I visited Wimborne, in Dorset, England, a week before the events of 9/ 11.

This attractive historic town is well preserved, and the jewel in its crown, standing at its center, is Wimborne Minster, a church dating back to the 12th century. The church houses a unique Chained Library and an astronomical clock, with the Quarter Jack, a colorful figure who strikes the bells every quarter hour. The minster is fascinating and full of atmosphere.

It was late in the afternoon when my friend and I went in. Stepping inside was like stepping back in time. It was so peaceful and quiet.

We took a few moments to be thoughtful and then asked if there were an Evensong. We were told there was not, but there were Evening Prayers.

These prayers were offered every evening for the benefit of all, and anyone could participate.

Down in the ancient crypt we met with a minister and a lay reader. They were most welcoming, and the prayers commenced.

I felt touched by this because it was nondenominational. No one asked what faith we were. It didn't matter because we were raising up our thoughts to the one universal God and we were all His children. I felt privileged to be a part of this reaching out in love for my fellow man. I felt so grateful that we could all pray to the one God, who blesses all impartially and is no respecter of rank or culture.

There were readings from the Psalms, and the Lord's Prayer was said. Special prayers were offered for bishops and missionaries in Africa and for the prosperity of their work. Couples recently married in the church were also remembered. …

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