Rev. Peter Marshall – Senate Christmas Prayer – 1947

Rev. Peter Marshall was Chaplain of the Senate for 2 years from 1947 – 1949. The words below are from a book of Prayers offered by the Chaplain at the opening of the daily sessions of the Senate, Eightieth and Eighty-first Congresses published in 1949. The prayer  is from the last session before Christmas on December 19th, 65 Christmas’s ago. I just offer it now to remember the Rev. Peter Marshall and his sincere eloquence still relevant for the somber troubles of our time. 


Senate Resolution No. 10

Eightieth Congress, First Session

(Submitted by Mr. Wherry)

In the Senate of the United States,

January 4, 1947.


Resolved, That Reverend Peter Marshall, doctor of divinity, of the

District of Columbia, be, and he is hereby, elected Chaplain of the Senate

Attest:                                                                     Carl A. Loeffler, Secretary



Friday, December 19, 1947

We thank thee, O God, for the return of the wondrous spell of this Christmas season

that brings its own sweet joy into our jaded and troubled hearts.

Forbid it, Lord, that we should celebrate without understanding what we celebrate, or,

like our counterparts so long ago, fail to see the star or to hear the song of glorious promise.

As our hearts yield to the spirit of Christmas, may we discover that it is Thy Holy Spirit who

comes–not a sentiment, but a power–to remind us of the only way by which there may be

peace on the earth and good will among men.

May we not spend Christmas, but keep it, that we may be kept in its hope, through Him

who emptied Himself in coming to us that we might be filled with peace and joy in returning to God.









~ by Judy on December 19, 2012.

6 Responses to “Rev. Peter Marshall – Senate Christmas Prayer – 1947”

  1. What a lovely and timely post. There were days when the halls of government were, shall we say, somewhat more dignified than they are today. It’s good to be reminded of those days, and of the promises of the season. Thanks so much!

    • The prayers delivered to the Senate by Rev Marshall do throw us back to a different time even though not that long ago. I like thinking that beginning a session seeking wisdom greater than their own would set a finer tone for more thougtful and more selfless deliberation.

  2. Thank you, Judy. I’ve forwarded it on to friends. It’s wonderful.

    • You are most welcomed. Rev Peter Marshall is really one of those special pastors who have the sincere emotion and the sense of poetry to express issues of faith with such ernest simplicity.

  3. O that it would be the way it used to be.

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