By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
The rhythms of summer always move me outdoors (and winter, to curse the lake effect snow). I love this prayer below by Christina Rosetti for that reason: wind, dove, water, cloud, dew, fire are so tangible and alive by mid-June.
Rossetti was a nineteenth century poet, considered a poetic successor to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. At least half of her poetry is devotional in character, and she was often drawn to images of nature, even though she spent most of her life in the heart of London. To pinpoint her cultural and historical moment in time, she helped her aunt serving as one of Florence Nightingale’s nurses. Rossetti was a constant critic of gender roles and later in life spoke out against slavery, imperialism, and military aggression.
Let us pray:
As the wind is your symbol, so forward our goings.
As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.
As water, so purify our spirits.
As a cloud, so abate our temptations.
As dew, so revive our languor.
As fire, so purge out our dross.
Be Thou, O Lord,
before to guide us,
behind to guard us,
around to shelter us,
within to perfect us.
—Christina Rossetti, 1830–1894
Invitation: Families with children are invited to join us for our new Candle Time on Tuesdays from 7–7:20 p.m. in the month of June. Contact Christine Hides for the link to the online meeting.