An Amazing Day

I am so hopeful for our country. This is a day I never thought I would see in my lifetime. I had tears in my eyes through much of the Inauguration Ceremony-- tears of happiness and of pride for the progress we have made.

I thought Joseph Lowery's prayer was the perfect ending to the ceremony!


Transcript of Rev. Lowery's Inaugural Benediction

Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., delivered the benediction at the inaugural ceremony. Below is a transcription of his address, provided by CQ Transcriptwire:

[*] LOWERY: God of our weary years, god of our silent tears, thou, who has brought us thus far along the way, thou, who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our god, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee.

Shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand true to thee, oh God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day.

We pay now, oh Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration.

He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national, and indeed the global, fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hands, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations.

Our faith does not shrink though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

LOWERY: For we know that, Lord, you are able and you're willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds, and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these, and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that yes we can work together to achieve a more perfect union.

And while we have sown the seeds of greed -- the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

LOWERY: And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountain top, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone.

With your hands of power and your heart of love, help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nations shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid, when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around...


... when yellow will be mellow...


LOWERY: ... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.


LOWERY: Say Amen.


LOWERY: And Amen.




datura datura
56-60, F
20 Responses Jan 20, 2009

Yes, bcj, thank you.<br />
<br />
amens have resounded from all over the globe! Wonderful!

great speech. <br />
<br />
let it be known that corruption is the greatest oppressor in modern times. <br />
<br />
I love that the reverend attacked it.<br />
<br />

AMEN, Datura. A beautiful man and mentor, indeed. Thank you so much for posting his speech!

Thanks, MS. Yes, I was so taken with Lowery that I read everything I could find about him the day of the inauguration. He truly is the one man that was there with MLK from the beginning and so richly deserved to say that prayer.<br />
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After the ceremony I was flipping through the channels and caught Juan William-- the African American political commentator, author, and former NPR host-- speaking about how very moved he was to see the 83 year old Lowery saying those words. He talked about Lowery's life and journey with Dr King and as he was speaking he broke down in tears because he was so touched.

FYI - those rhymes at the beginning and end of Lowery's prayer were historical reminders from US history (I wish I could say, "formerly called Black History" One day, I hope I can). You can find these references on the web, I'm sure.<br />
<br />
The beginning, "God of our weary years..." to "...true to our native land", are the last verse of the Negro National Anthem. It is a lovely, moving spiritual calling Black Americans to adhere to the ideals of a sacred, interwoven placement in the fabric of this country. It is about Uniting!<br />
Lowery's last bit was a twist on the way Americans and Black Americans used to divide the many phenotypes in the "Chocolate Rainbow" for inclusion into "The American Dream". For some faux 'elite' people of color, the lighter skinned blacks (Yellow) were considered good, closer to white, so they were "mellow", and so on. Lowery turned this formerly ugly, self-loathing and inflamatory rhyme into a call for unity. Brilliant! If you liked that speech, look up some of his others. Lowery is a national treasure!

I bet you would have wailed at the party today, Datura! <br />
I don't know why John Williams didn't include a part for you.

And the fingers, Lilt! I can't imagine playing my piano in 27 degree temps!

You are so right , Datura. My kids are musicians and they will tell you the temperatures reek havoc on your tuning.

Hey, Cherry! Thanks for adding your voice to the choir!

It was beautiful! And I can't imagine playing instruments in below freezing temperatures.


Wow. I am listening now to the piece "Air and Simple Gifts."<br />
I thought it was beautiful.

It was amazing to see the response of the audience to him, Lilt. So moving.

Yes, the rhymes at the end were priceless.


Thanks d10. I am going to print this prayer and hang in on my bulletin board and read it every day. If we could all apply it in our daily lives we could make the change we hope to see happen so much faster! I feel very inspired!

Amen!!! :)<br />
<br />
Joseph Lowery's prayer was just wonderful.

It sure deserves to be!

Stormy, see if you can find the video of him delivering the prayer. As MS said, he rocked it, and it was wonderful!

Yes, Lowery Rocked the end of that solemn event just right, thank you!!!! Lovely, it was lovely.