We beseech Thee, Lord, to behold us with favor, folk of many families and nations gathered together in the peace of this rood, weak men and women subsisting under the covert of Thy patience. Be patient still; suffer us yet a while longer–with our broken purposes of good, with our idle endeavors against evil, suffer us a while longer to endure and (if it may be) help us to do better. Bless to us our extraordinary mercies; if the day come when these must be taken, brace us to play the man under affliction. Be with our friends, be with ourselves. Go with each of us to rest; if any awake, temper to them the dark hours of watching; and when the day returns, return to us, our sun and comforter, and call us up with morning faces and with morning heats–eager to labor–eager to be happy, if happiness shall be our portion–and if the day be marked for sorrow, strong to endure it–Amen.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)