Bahai News - Prayer in many tongues Friday, May 4, 2001


Prayer in many tongues

In words and music, people of all faiths in O.C. make their joyful noise heard.

May 4, 2001

The Orange County Register

They repeated chapters from the New Testament, chants from the Torah, words of wisdom from Baha'i spiritual leaders, and passages from Muslim scriptures.

In many languages and from various faith traditions, thousands of people in Orange County joined Thursday with millions across the country in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the congressionally mandated National Day of Prayer.

They expressed the theme "One Nation Under God" with Irish folk ballads, Jewish klezmer music and Christian hymns.

And at the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council's prayer breakfast, they offered up prayers on butcher paper.

The 200 attendees from various faiths sat eight to a table at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church to pen one-line prayers to help build a better community.

Lynn Hearn, a Huntington Beach church educator, found herself recording the thoughts of Bahai's and Catholics at her table.

Celia Lee, 62, a secretary, started it off: "We pray for the poor in spirit."

Across the table, Isaac Cavaliera, a retired engineer, suggested, "We pray for reconciliation of the unreconcilable."

The suggestions flew so fast, Hearn filled the poster-size paper with 20 prayers in less than five minutes. We pray for ... the unemployed, mentally ill, for peace and understanding, for spiritual awakening of mankind, for broken families, for all creation.

All prayers were read aloud at breakfast's end.

Harold Jackson, 70, a retired educator, said participating in the day of prayer gives him strength.

"You feel God's love surround your heart."

©Copyright 2001, The Orange County Register

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