This is the prayer I offered at the We Are Family Interfaith service which was held on October 16th, 2005 to protest of the exclusion of queer representation at the Million More March. It was well received, and the Christian minister who delivered the main sermon not only made mention of my prayer, he also gave me a big hug at the end of the service. It was very touching. There is hope.
Greetings. I extend a special greeting to the ancestors and beloved dead, to the sacred allies and angels, to the elders and oracles, to the griots and shaman, to the magicians and ministers, and the priestesses and holy men, as well as to all our gods, and all our sacred paths.
I greet you as a poet, a priestess, a warrior and a witch. And I offer in honor of all who have gathered this simple prayer.
I pray to the Goddess who holds us in her mercy and cradles us in her memory. I pray to the ancestors who walk with us always even through the lonely paths of pain, anger and sadness. I pray that we find the strength to choose a new path, not the path modeled to us of rejection, bigotry and fear, but a path of inclusion, openness and fellowship. We have made a first step here today; help us to build on this miracle.
And how can we continue on this path except by becoming the very essence of what we demand from the larger community. There is a saying that goes, “whatever you find objectionable in others first change within yourself.” So I pray that we learn from our pain, how not to inflict pain. That we learn how not to twist words of faith into words of exclusion and condemnation. I pray that we learn how to extend loving and welcoming hands in the face of our own fear and ignorance. And I pray that we open ourselves to the divine within the other even as we seek others to see the divine within ourselves.
Please help us also to be leery of false calls of inclusion.
Let us recognize that a call of love that asks us to hide our beauty, genius and power is not love at all. We must never accept as valid any hand that proclaims that the only way they will love us is if we cease loving ourselves. Help us to choose instead to love ourselves, and each other.
And as we choose to extend through our own fear, help us to demonstrate to the entire nation just what it takes to build better world.
Because all the living traditions teach that the only cure for fear is love. And so we invoke this love. We invoke it into this room and into this building. We invoke love into this city. We invoke love into this country, this planet, and into every heart that faces rejection, bigotry, fear, violence, hatred and death.
We invoke love into our own hearts. Because ultimately that is the place where the transformation will begin.
And so today, in the name of all the gods, all the ancestors, and all the sacred lands, let us now turn to each other and extend the welcoming hand of community. And just for today, let us become the mirror of the summer land where all dwell together in peace, where all are recognized for the spark of the divine that dwells within each of our hearts, and where all who have labored on the road to freedom can be welcomed home at last.
Amen, Blessed Be, and Ashe!