Niwaskowôgan, Great Spirit,
this prayer is first prayed
on the homelands of Abenaki people,
who have lived in the place
now called New Hampshire
more than 12,000 years,
being part of the larger group
of Indigenous people
naming themselves Wabanaki,
“People of the Dawn.”

They and those who live here
in these days
look at the same sky and do not know
whether it is daybreak or nightfall,
a time of warning or delight.

And we pray today for
the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community
grieving the loss of children,
found buried but still unidentified,
at the Kamloops Indian Residential School
in British Columbia,
a grieving that breaks the hearts of all.

And so we ask your blessing on all
in this world,
who live on their land of heritage,
or are settlers respectful
of both their land and its history,
and for all these families.

May the dawn rise upon them gently,
and sunset guide them to rest. Amen

(Nancy Donovan took this picture and wondered later whether it had been sunset or dawn. She titled it, “Red skies in morning,…?”This prayer has been added to because my US newsfeeds had not told this story. Another grief.)


Maren C. Tirabassi (and Maria Mankin) have edited the new  chapbook, “Pitching our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality,” in support of Interfaith ministry of the Peace Cathedral in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Maren blogs at gifts in open hands at wordpress dot com.She’s a UCC, US, pastor and a writer and lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


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