Prayers for Candlemas

February 4th, 2018

Prayers for Candlemas

40 days after Christmas, Candlemas is the celebration of the Presentation of the Lord and one the most ancient feasts in the church.  HART shares with you some prayers, a reading and a poem to inspire thoughts for HART’s partners from across the world.



Lord, we remember before you those whom this world has taught to expect nothing.
We are astonished when we meet them by the grace and graciousness they can show.
May they share in Your riches.
We pray for those told by the world that they are worthless.
May Your love teach and reassure them that they are precious and priceless and loved.
We pray for those who are treated as expendable and forgettable.
May HART, by my small efforts and support, reach them with Your Love.
And may they always be in our hearts as they are always in Yours.
We offer this prayer through the Jesus who heard every cry.

2) Prayer from the Prayer Book of Nigeria [where we have partners]:
Lord Jesus Christ, the length, breadth, depth and height of your love is beyond our understanding: grant that this love may so transform us through Your suffering as to make us reach out to the despairing and the desperate, and work for justice, reconciliation and peace among all people; for Your Name’s sake. Amen.

HART’s Rev. David Thomas addressing a service in Nigeria

Lord, may I be wakeful  at sunrise to begin a new day for You,
Cheerful at sun-set for having done my work for You,
Thankful at moon-rise and under star-shine for the beauty of the Universe.
And may I add – what little may be in me – to your great world. Amen.

4) The use of the “Benedictus” (Luke 1: verses 68-79) is especially appropriate as a reading, but preferably as a hymn or a prayer for the oppressed and the persecuted, and as a proclamation of the light shining out of the darkness.

5) A HART blessing (expressing the importance of listening to people’s stories, and making their voices heard):
The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you, and those whom you love,
those whom you seek to serve,
those whose voices you seek to make heard,
those to whom you listen,
and those with whom you travel,
now and for ever. Amen.

By Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

O GOD of earth and altar
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not Thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,        
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation
Of honor and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,  
Deliver us, good Lord.

Tie in a living tether
The priest and prince and thrall,
Bind all our lives together,
Smite us and save us all; 
In ire and exultation
Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to Thee.

A poem from our Partners amongst the Shan People of Burma (who are mainly Buddhist).            

Refugees without a Camp

Burmese soldiers advance.

They kill our animals, take our rice.

From our schools they take the learning and light.

They burn our villages and steal our minds.

We hear the soldiers’ voice, and we are filled with fear and hate.

And we must run, run, run, until our legs break,

Refugees without a home, without a camp.


They dress our Buddhas in women’s underwear.

We see our people floating bloated in the river.

We have land but cannot farm it, forced labour is our lot.

“peace, peace, peace”, they say. Burma says we are at peace.

But we are not. We hear gunshots night and day.

And we must run, run, run, until our legs break,

Refugees without a home, without a camp.


Some Shan live in Thailand, work as servants or as slaves,

Some live in relocation camps, without money, food, or hope.

Some live in the jungle and hear their dying child’s cries,

Mosquitoes on their limbs, and leeches in their eyes.

They dig a shallow grave and place the child inside,

And then they must run, run, run, until our legs break,

Refugees without a home, without a camp.

Original Shan language poem by Lenghsim (hsenhoe)

English adaptation by Bernice Koehler Johnson


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