4.1. Prayer and Prayers
Perhaps the most important thing a chaplain can do is to pray for every aspect of the Unit in her or his care, its people, its cadets, its buildings, its growth and development and its safety. We fight not against flesh and blood…
4.1.1. The Sea Cadet Prayer
Perhaps the one most commonly used prayer is the Sea cadet prayer:
Lord, bless this Ship and her Company and all Units of the Sea Cadet Corps throughout the world. Guide Charles, our King, and protect all who go down to the sea in ships.
Teach us to serve you as our Master on our earthly voyage, so that, at the last, we may come to the peace and safety of your eternal haven.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
4.1.2. Other Prayers
126.96.36.199. The Naval Collect:
Go before us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour
and further us with thy continual help that in all our works begun, continued and ended in thee, we may glorify thy Holy Name
and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
188.8.131.52 Prayer of Sir Francis Drake:
O Lord, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour in any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it be thoroughly finished that yieldeth the true glory; through Him who for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
184.108.40.206. The Naval Prayer (adapted):
O Eternal Lord God who alone spreadest out the heavens and rulest the raging of the sea; who hast compassed the waters with bounds until day and night come to an end: Be pleased to receive into thy almighty and most gracious protection the men and women of the Naval Service and the Fleet in which they serve. Preserve us from the dangers of the sea and of the air and from the violence of the enemy; that we may be a safeguard unto our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, and her dominions, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our Island and Commonwealth may in peace and quietness serve thee our God; and that we may return in safety to enjoy the blessings of the land, with the fruits of our labours and with a thankful remembrance of thy mercies to praise and glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
220.127.116.11. The Royal Marines:
O Eternal Lord God, who through many generations has united and inspired the members of our Corps, grant your blessing, we beseech you, on Royal Marines serving all round the Globe. Bestow your crown of righteousness upon all our efforts and endeavours, and may our laurels be those of gallantry and honour, loyalty and courage. We ask these things in the name of him whose courage never failed, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen. 18.104.22.168 The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
22.214.171.124. The Prayer of St Richard of Chichester:
Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the cruel pains and insults thou hast borne for us; for all the many blessings thou hast won for us. O holy Jesus, most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother, may we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day. Amen.
126.96.36.199. St Patrick’s Breastplate:
May the strength of God support us; May the power of God preserve us; May the wisdom of God instruct us; May the hand of God protect us; May the way of God direct us; May the shield of God defend us; May the host of God guard us against the snares of evil and the temptations of the world; May Christ be with us, Christ before us, Christ in us, Christ over us. May thy salvation, O Lord, be always ours this day and for evermore. Amen.
188.8.131.52 Prayer of Ignatius Loyola:
Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and to ask for no reward save that of knowing that we do thy will. Amen.
184.108.40.206. The Love of Peace:
Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed; kindle, we pray you, in the hearts of all men the true love of peace, and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquillity your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
220.127.116.11 Nelson’s Prayer:
May the great God whom I worship, grant to my country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory; and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet. For myself individually, I commit my life to him that made me, and may his blessing alight on my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen.
18.104.22.168 A Prayer for Sea Cadet Chaplains:
Eternal Father, strong to save, we pray for all Chaplains called to serve you in the Sea Cadet Corps. Guide and strengthen them with your Holy Spirit to carry out their responsibilities to the Staff and Cadets with enthusiasm and commitment. Bless and encourage those who minister in your name that by their example and service they may lead many to find faith and receive the gift of eternal life in your Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
22.214.171.124 A Prayer of St Francis:
Merciful God, to thee we commend ourselves and all who need thy help. Where there is hatred, give love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is sadness, joy; where there is darkness, light. Grant that we may not seek so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned and in dying that we are born into eternal life. Amen.
126.96.36.199 A Bidding Prayer for Sea Cadets:
We are gathered together for this insert name of event or activity which is taking place as members of the Sea Cadet Corps. As we go about our duties we ask the blessing of Almighty God on all that we do; that we may grow in our service of God and others so that working together we may learn how to be God’s true people. We pray this day especially for insert the group or activity or whatever is taking place and ask that all that we do may be begun, continued and ended in the power of Christ. We ask this for his honour and glory who, for our sake, came among us to share our lives and taught us to pray. Our Father......
188.8.131.52. God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
184.108.40.206. God, who art the light of the minds that know thee, the life of the souls that love thee and the strength of the wills that serve thee; help us so to know thee that we may truly love thee and so love thee that we may fully serve thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
220.127.116.11. Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly beseech thee to bless our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, the Parliaments in all her dominions and all who are set in authority under her; that they may order all things in wisdom, righteousness and peace, to the honour of thy holy Name and the good of thy Church and people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
18.104.22.168 May the Lord bless and keep us; the Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us; the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon us and give us his peace, this day (night) and for evermore. Amen.
22.214.171.124 O Lord, forgive what we have done, amend what we are, and order what we shall be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
126.96.36.199. God we pray you to send your blessing upon this ship and grant that by the help of your Holy Spirit we may endeavour to make it more worthy of Him whose Cross we carry in our flag, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 188.8.131.52. Lord, thou knowest how busy we must be this day; if we forget thee, do not thou forget us; for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. 184.108.40.206. Save us, O Lord, while waking and guard us while sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace. Amen.
220.127.116.11. Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
18.104.22.168. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen.
4.1.3. Prayer for Special Occasions
In most naval messes at formal dinners there are two graces; an initial grace which sets the scene for the evening and a post meal and prior to toasts grace which sums up quickly.
There is a tradition of doing rhyming graces and also trying to incorporate the names and events of the people involved so, for example, if a Commanding Officer is “dined out” some reference to his deeds of “daring do” might be made in the grace.
Some traditional graces are printed below and a couple of examples of the things that might be useful and expanded upon:
22.214.171.124. Bless, O Lord, this food to our use and us in thy service, and keep us mindful of the needs of others. Amen.
126.96.36.199 An Elizabethan Grace
God bless our meate; God guide our ways; God give us grace our Lord to please. Lord, long preserve in peace and health Our gracious Queen Elizabeth. Amen.
188.8.131.52 Nelson’s Grace
God save the Queen Bless our victuals And make us thankful. Amen. First Graces
184.108.40.206. Praise God, who celebrate this night Lord Nelson’s last decisive fight And thank him too for food and wine As we in celebration dine.
220.127.116.11. Praised be God for Nelson Norfolk parson’s son Whose “touch”, for sailors at their stations The gratitude of nations Trafalgar’s vict’ry won So bless us all and this our food And turn us to our proper good. Second Graces 18.104.22.168 The debris of this battle gone Let God be praised through Christ his Son For Trafalgar and freedom won. Amen
22.214.171.124 For food and wine and ladies fair The praise of God let all declare.
126.96.36.199. The God whose gifts we ate and drank Now let us all most humbly thank