On May 21st, it was my privilege to participate in the dedication of the new station for Fate Fire Rescue. The fire department for the City of Fate, Texas is an exemplary team that has taken a leadership role in Rockwall County, demonstrating excellence that neighboring departments can learn from. Having been their fire chaplain since 2007, it has been my honor to serve them since then, though after moving to Houston in late 2009, my interaction with them diminished considerably. Imagine my joy when they asked I be present for, and participate in the dedication (and "blessing") of their newly constructed, state-of-the-art, station on Main St. Not qualified to offer a sacramental or "priestly" blessing for their station, I performed instead my usual habit of writing prayers for the occasion that we might offer up to God on behalf of those that assemble and serve there. This constituted a "blessing" which could be invoked by any who read them as often as they do. The following were written for the occasion of the station dedication, but will also be framed and given to the dept to display as they see fit (it was suggested that these prayers might be hung in their designated spaces within the station). I post them here for my friends to see what manner of "blessing" I hope that my beloved firefighters will receive as often as such prayers are read among them:
Prayer of Blessing for the Training Room
O gracious Lord, who by your Spirit did train the young men of old in the ways of battle for the service of your people, Grant that by that same Spirit those that have given themselves over to be counted among this department shall receive the excellent training and instruction as is fitting for servants of our God in the care of this fine city. Illuminate their minds to sound precepts and teach their hands for service, that residents may call upon them with confidence of their skilled instincts to save, to the honor of the most responsive Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Blessing for the Berthing and Rec Areas
Almighty God, who has given space within these walls for them who stand watch over this city, and with utmost vigilance remain ready to answer the call, to receive rest from their labors while sleeping for a time or enjoying such delights as their camaraderie affords, Grant that they may find in here a replenishing respite when not needed for emergencies or such duties as are asked of them to the taxing of their spirits and bodies. So that when running they may not grow weary, and in walking they will not faint, to the glory of your Comforting Son our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Blessing for the Apparatus and Equipment Bay
Almighty Father, who is the sender of all things fine and helpful into the world, for the benefit of your creatures great and small, and who has provided such excellent equipment for these your helpers to use in service to this city, Grant that this collection of tools and gear may accompany them on the apparatus which, carried along by your Spirit, may enable them to fully bring that help for which you have empowered them, for the reputation he who provides all help to the distressed, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Blessing for Command and Control
O God our Chief, who has ordered all the world to follow them that lead with excellence, and who has provided as gifts from your gracious treasury such officers as may command your servants in this duty, Grant that they, being ever mindful or their charge, will increase in love and competence for guiding those that so need their leadership. And we entreat you that their devices and channels of communication might never fail them, that through their clear direction and wise admonition, citizens may dwell assured that God has sent his best to them in time of need. To the honor and glory of he who rules from his throne, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.