My desk is littered with birthday cards. They are two versions of the Birthday Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, one for girls, the other for boys. One of my many delights is to write the card for each child on the Upper Campus. Why?
Because I love each of your children and write each card with the hope that the words of the prayer will blossom in your child’s life. I hope that one or another of these cards that we prepare and give each year will get tucked into a book or a box. I hope that someday it will fall out at a time when your child would be buoyed by the beauty and the faith of its words. I hope that memories of Trinity School chapel days, and of birthday celebrations will bring a smile to his or her older and wiser lips.
The memory will be of how classmates held hands with the Chaplain and with family members while the whole school spoke the words on the front of the card. The memory will be of how we all sang “Happy Birthday” and how maybe Mrs. Zeren presented a birthday book and gave your child the card that he or she now holds. This is what I hope for.
I write these cards with great affection for your child today and with long term faith in who he or she will yet be. I’m up to the February birthdays. Time to carry on.
But here’s the prayer. It can be for you too…
Watch over your child, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be. strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she fall; and in her heart may thy peace which passes understanding abide all the days of her life.