Eight Points of the Compass

I am Mayor’s Chaplain this year. These are the prayers I wrote to use at the beginning of Worcester City Council’s full council meeting on Zoom last night.

We begin by facing EAST- This is where the sun comes up, the direction of new beginnings, hope, promise, and potential. May we be open to receiving these gifts as we meet.

Now we turn SOUTHWARDS – This is the direction of warmth, growth, of blossom and harvest. May we be blessed with these things too as we meet.

We turn WESTWARDS – This is the direction where the sun goes down. It is the direction of rest, and of endings that need to take place for there to be new beginnings. May we have grace in the light of the setting sun.

We turn NORTHWARDS – This is the direction of the cold, of winds, of strength, courage, fortitude, single-mindedness, focus, clarity, and purpose. May we be blessed with these things as we face the challenges of our days.

We turn DOWNWARDS – and touch the ground, the streets where we live, the earth upon which we live and breathe and have our being. Let us pray that everything we do as we meet will be in honour and nurture of our shared home.

And so, we turn INWARDS – and we place our hands on our hearts and pray that all we do as we meet will be a blessing to one another, and to this our city that we serve.

Turning UPWARDS – we remember our smallness in the presence of the night sky.

And so, we turn finally OUTWARDS to another, and so we begin.

Amen.

Inspired by ‘Prayer of the Seven Directions’
Jose Hobday (1929-2009)
Catholic nun and Native American spiritual author

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