Chaplain's Aide : Thoughts on Worship
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Wed, 28 Dec 1994 07:15:25 GMT
Hi Scott !
>I have recently become the Chaplain's Aide to my troop. I was wondering
>how other troops pursue this leadership position: what you have done,
>what works, what doesn't. Also, I would appreciate any prayers that you
>have, besides the ones from the Scouts-L file server, if any.
Congratulations on your appointment. We don't have a Chaplain aide in the
troop of which I am ASM at present ( T401, American School in London,
England) Is your troop inter-denominational ?
One thing you might like to try as well as prayers is to find a piece of
music to use as a closing meditation , or maybe a poem. " If " by Rudyard
Kipling is in most of the anthologies and is a good start.
For new Scouts the Scout Hymn by Ralph reader can be used as either a song
or as a poem :
" Now as I start upon my chosen way
In all I do , my thoughts, my work my play,
Grant as I promise courage new for me
To be the BEST , the best that I can be.
Help me to keep my honour shining bright
May I be loyal in the hardest fight
Let me be ready for my task and then
To take a place amongst my fellow men "
(c) The Scout Association (UK)
You might like to try to find the words for the United Nation's Children's
Hymn ... I don't have a copy to hand, but the tune is " Finlandia "
and it starts
" O Lord our God,
The Ruler of the Nations
I pray for peace,
In lands afar and mine ... "
Try the UN Information Office in New York for starters ...
A spectacular closing to a campfire is Scout Vespers " Softly fades the
light of day " ... the second verse is hummed whilst a Scout recites the
Scout Law. The chorus is sung again , then hummed whilst the Chaplain's Aid
gives the Scout benediction " May the Great Master / of all Scouts/ Be with
us all / until we meet again. " The Scouts file silently from the circle,
still humming the tune , whilst from the woods a lone bugler plays Taps ...
Or sing " Taps " - I have heard slightly different versions
" Day is done / Gone the sun / from the lake,from the land, from the sky /
all is well / safely rest / God is nigh. "
This is effective if you have a good harmonica player to lead it.
Don't forget the patriotic themes. As I Brit I envy you guys songs like
" America the Beautiful " - again my memories are of singing it around a
campfire with guitar accompaniment.
Another one I use is a variation on the Evening Prayer from the Book of
Common Payer :
" Lighten our darkness we beseech thee, O Lord
And in the great mercy defend us from all perils
and dangers of this night
[ for the sake of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ]
- omit the words in brackets if non-Christians are present.
I hope these ideas help. The main thing is to try to get hold of as many
sources as you can. You may need to adapt the language to something more
modern , or to remove specific references which are inappropriate at an
inter-faith service. Many Christian prayers are acceptable if you take out
the filioque ( in the name of the Father and of the Son ... ) or phrases
such as " this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord ... " and just finish
If you have Jewish or Islamic Scouts in camp they might be prepared to offer
thanks with their own traditional prayers, perhaps a grace at mealtimes.
Again, check if this is acceptable locally before trying it out. Talk to
your Chaplain , Scoutmaster or other knowledgeable adult to find out what is
acceptable to your troop and community.
Ian N Ford
ASM, BSA Troop 401 (American School in London)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City