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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Go with my blessing

A new book from British Methodists, Vows and Partings (www.mph.org.uk), offers services for reaffirmation of marriage vows and prayers for relationships that have changed or ended. One prayer for the end of a relationship includes: "May she/he go aware that she/he goes with my blessing." Another prayer offers: "In the days to come, raise us up to new life in fresh relationships."

David Gamble of the writing team acknowledges that it's "asking quite a lot" of former couples to pray together, although "sometimes it may be possible for both partners to come together not in animosity but in sadness." If not, the "we" prayers can become "I" prayers, he says.

The prayers address difficulties at every stage of marriage and other relationships, including "times of loss and despair — times that can feel like failure," says contributor Ann Leck. For example, it has prayers for domestic violence, for the loss of a loved one to Alzheimer's disease and for parents who find difficulty accepting a child who has come out as gay or lesbian.


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