NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday – Yom Kippur

NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur is not a day that Gentiles observe, but the prayerful review of one’s life is something that all of us might well do on a daily basis, asking forgiveness for our transgressions and praying for the grace to grow in God’s love and truth…
Beginning at sundown today (and ending at sundown tomorrow) our Jewish neighbors and friends are celebrating Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  Today’s NIGHT PRAYER comes in three parts:
    1) Rabbi Alvin Fine’s reflection, Life Is A Journey, 
        inspired by Kol Nidre, the opening service of Yom Kippur          
    2) A prayer of repentance by my friend, Alden Solovy.
    3) Max Bruch’s beautiful instrumental interpretation (cell0) 
            of the Kol Nidre chant, performed by Zuill Bailey
        This piece provides a soul-stirring background for our
            reflection and pray this evening.
Life Is A Journey

Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
And ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
And then, perhaps, to wisdom;
From weakness to strength
Or strength to weakness –
And, often, back again;
From health to sickness
And back, we pray, to health again;
From offense to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude,
From pain to compassion,
And grief to understanding –
From fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat –
Until, looking backward or ahead,
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey, stage by stage,
A sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey,
A sacred pilgrimage –
To life everlasting.


Repentance Inside
This I confess to myself: 
I have taken my transgressions with me,

Carrying them year-by-year into my hours and days,

My lapses of conscience
And indiscretion with words,
My petty judgments
And my vanity,
Clinging to grief and fear, anger and shame,
Clinging to excuses and to old habits.
I’ve felt the light of heaven,
Signs and wonders in my own life,
And still will not surrender to holiness and light.

God of redemption,
With Your loving and guiding hand
Repentance in prayer is easy.
Repentance inside,
Leaving my faults and offenses behind,
Is a struggle.
In Your wisdom You have given me this choice:
To live today as I lived yesterday,
Or to set my life free to love You,
To love Your people,
And to love myself.

God of Forgiveness,

Help me to leave my transgressions behind,

To hear Your voice,
To accept Your guidance,
And to see the miracles in each new day.

Blessed are You,
God of Justice and Mercy,
You set Your people on the road to t’shuva.*

– Alden Solovy:

* returning to God

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Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake
    and watch over us as we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
    and asleep, rest in your peace…