Bishop Irinej Delivers Opening Prayer at the U.S. House of Representatives

Bishop Irinej Delivers Opening Prayer at the U.S. House of Representatives

On Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 as the inaugural event for the Commemoration of the Centennial of “The Day the Serbian Flag flew at the White House”, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America, Episcopal Patron of the Centennial Commemoration, was invited by Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), co-chairman of the Serbian Congressional Caucus, as Guest Chaplain, to read the Opening Prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. The Prayer, which Bishop Irinej composed for the occasion, is as follows:

“Lord God Almighty, God of Justice, we offer You our sincere thanksgiving and heartfelt prayer for and with those whom You have graciously vested in governance of these United States of America.

Enable the Members of the House of Representatives, elected by the people and for the people, to present equitably the diverse interests of our citizens and those from the expanse of the world who reside, labor and study here.

Guide those who deliberate and legislate on our collective behalf in the spirit of unity, openness and understanding. Allow their hearts ever to be open to the resounding cry of those who earnestly pledge indivisible liberty and justice for all.

May they be enlightened by Your precepts and motivated in their altruistic service to our Nation and its people. Bless and preserve them and us, Lord. This we pray in Christ Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

One hundred years ago, on July 28th, 1918 President Woodrow Wilson summoned the American people to prayer for Serbia and the Serbian people. His proclamation was read in churches throughout the country and published in virtually all major newspapers. Church Bells throughout America rang out at 12 noon that day, also in honor of the sacrifices of the Serbs.  The Serbian flag was raised over the White House and all public buildings in the nation's capital. One hundred years later, it is believed for the first time in the history of the United States, a Serbian Bishop, honouring this presidential summons of old, now prays for members of Congress and for the good estate of all.