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Proclamation of National Day of Prayer and Fasting-Abraham Lincoln

 

 

Proclamation of a National Day of Prayer and Fasting

 

Abraham Lincoln

March 30, 1863

 

Abraham Lincoln - ThanksgivingSenator James Harlan of Iowa, whose daughter later married President Lincoln's son Robert, introduced this Resolution in the Senate on March 2, 1863. The Resolution asked President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of prayer and fasting. The Resolution was adopted on March 3, and signed by Lincoln on March 30, one month before the fast day was observed.  The following text of Lincoln's Proclamation makes plain the Christian basis of American society and values.  If his analysis was valid in 1863, how much more so does it ring true today!

 

 

A Proclamation.

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.    By the President: Abraham Lincoln

 

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To read Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation, CLICK HERE!

 

For more Christian resources to feed your faith and inspire your life, visit the Crossroads Initiative Home Page.

 

For more articles that you can share over the Thanksgiving Holidays - be sure to check out:

Thanksgiving: Are You Grateful?

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving and the Eucharist

Thanksgiving Reading and Table Blessing


Feast of Faith - The Transforming Power of the Eucharist

Feast of Faith, Resource on EucharistOur late Holy Father Pope John Paul II decreed the last year of his pontificate a special "year of the Eucharist." "The Feast of Faith," is an enlightening, four-part adult faith formation series (on 2 CDs, 2 Audio Tapes, 2 VHS, or 2 DVDs) guaranteed to unlock the life-changing power of the Eucharist in your life. Be sure to order the Feast of Faith Workbook, you may view it online, to get the most out of this amazing Eucharist Series!

 

Part One – Sacrifice – discusses how the Mass is a true sacrifice, the “re-presentation” of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.

 

Part Two – Real Presence – The uniqueness of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist is contrasted with the other ways he is present in the world. Out need to be properly prepared to receive Jesus in the Eucharist is discussed in…

 

Part Three – Preparation – we need to have more faith, more appetite, more repentance, and more forgiveness. Finally…

 

Part Four – Adoration – explains the meaning and purpose of Eucharistic adoration and offers practical ways we can spend time before our Eucharistic Lord in a way that transforms our lives. This is a must-have series for RCIA and Parish Adult Faith Formation.

 

Feast of Faith DVD - $49.95

Feast of Faith – CD - $24.95

Feast of Faith Workbook - $6.95 

 

 

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