Launch of the Charles W. Morgan – Prayer of Invocation

Eternal Loving Spirit, God of the sky, God of the wind, and God of the sea, God of all people and every creature in every place and time:

Your people gather here today on the banks of the Mystic River and upon it in a spirit of celebration and with great anticipation.  We gather, too, Holy One, with overflowing gratitude:  thankful for the hours and the muscles and the materials which have come together over the last 4 and a half years under expert leadership and great care to restore this unique and cherished wooden whaling vessel we lovingly call the “Morgan”.  Thanks be to you, Holy God.

We gather on this day, July 21, mindful of the same date in 1841 when she was first launched and mindful, too, of the thousands of souls over the course of the past 172 years and 37 voyages who sailed upon her and sang to her and made it their priority to preserve her for future generations.  We pause now in silence in remembrance of all who have touched the Morgan in their own way and who now rest eternally with you.

[SILENCE]  Great and Holy God, just as you were present among our ancestors in 1841 and beyond, just as you were present here for her arrival at Mystic Seaport in 1941 and beyond, just as you have been present surrounding her restoration since November of 2008, we humbly ask you now at this moment to surround us with your loving and almighty presence and to bless the Charles W. Morgan.

Today, as human hands at last let go to return her to the water, we ask that your holy hands now keep her steady, that your divine breath keep her afloat, that you hold her in your care so that she may go on from here next year a 38th time telling her stories from port to port, keeping her colorful history alive for generations to come.

Bless the Charles W. Morgan, dear God, and watch over her launch today; and shine your face upon all of us that we may remember that it is you who makes all things possible.  Amen.

Written and delivered by Rev. Ann M. Aaberg, July 21, 2013, 2:00pm