Prayer for International Workers Day

Carpenter Joseph Returning from Work

God, we hear your voice singing …
I relieved your shoulder of the burden
and your hands were freed from the basket.

On this International Workers Day,
we pray for justice
for workers everywhere –
a living wage, workplace safeguards,
affordable housing, child care,
health care rights
un-tied to full-time hours,
re-opening plans based in worker safety
rather than customer maximization,
the right to collective bargaining,
the right to respect.

We pray for domestic workers,
for migrant workers, for child workers,
for prep cooks in the food industry,
for housekeepers in motels,
for garment workers, trafficked workers,
meatpackers, amazon packers,
for those with mandatory overtime,
those with three jobs and no benefits,
those who can no longer work
because of illness or injury related to work.

We also hear your voice, O God, singing …
I will give you finest wheat;
from the rock, I give you honey.

Help us sing it back – in bread and roses. amen.

*Lines from Psalm 81, Bread and Roses – Strike 1912, Lawrence, Ma. Textile Mills. A song was based on a poem by James Oppenheimer. The Catholic Church dedicates 1 May to “Saint Joseph the Worker. Jesus’ father is the patron saint of workers.

Art credit Carpenter Joseph Returning from Work, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville. Dominican Abbey, Charlottesville, VA Original source: – Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Maren C. Tirabassi’s newest book is “Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald’s and Other Poems” and she blogs at She’s a UCC, US, pastor and a writer and lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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