A Prayer for Writing Commissioning/Ordination Papers


Like the rest of you, Spirited Life is celebrating the beginning of the Advent season. However, we know that this also is a season for commissioning and ordination papers (at least for United Methodist clergy).

For those of you writing, reading, editing and re-writing (sermons OR papers), we offer a prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). This prayer is known by a few names, including ‘A Prayer Before Study, Speaking and Writing’:

Ineffable Creator,

Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
have established three hierarchies of angels,
have arrayed them in marvelous order above the fiery heavens,
and have marshaled the regions of the universe with such artful skill,

You are proclaimed the true font of light and wisdom,
and the primal origin raised high beyond all things.

Pour forth a ray of Your brightness into the darkened places
of my mind; disperse from my soul the twofold darkness
into which I was born:
sin and ignorance.

You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
Refine my speech and pour forth upon my lips the goodness of Your blessing.

Grant to me keenness of mind,
capacity to remember,
skill in learning,
subtlety to interpret,
and eloquence in speech.

May You guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress,
and bring it to completion.

You Who are true God and true Man,
Who live and reign, world without end.


(courtesy of www.liturgies.net;
image courtesy of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – New Orleans)

This entry was posted in Inspiration and tagged , , , by Angela M. MacDonald. Bookmark the permalink.

About Angela M. MacDonald

Angela is a Wellness Advocate for the Clergy Health Initiative. Angela earned an MDiv/MSW; a joint graduate degree program sponsored by Duke Divinity School and the UNC School of Social Work. Angela is also an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Angela’s past experiences includes parish ministry, crisis intervention counseling and legal technology consulting. Angela enjoys reading, international travel and "I love lamp".

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *