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Grapevine : April 2011
In keeping with an early cus- tom in AA that continues in many places today, let's close this meeting with the Lord's Prayer. For all those who care to, please stand and join in... " Thus did Greg M., mod- erator of the big Saturday evening meeting at the 2005 International Convention in Toronto, introduce the closing prayer. With up to 40,000 attending, it was indeed a soaring ex- perience to hear the Lord's Prayer re- peated in a huge stadium by alcohol- ics from around the world. It's what AA gatherings have done ever since our beginning days in the late 1930s. But Greg's carefully worded introduction also hinted indirectly that "The Great Prayer" is under attack and has been abandoned in many places. It apparently seemed necessary for him to offer a plau- sible reason for using it on that one great occasion. The disappearance of the Lord's Prayer is especially Why I like the Lord's Prayer An AA shares why he is not about to abandon this meeting closer noticeable in New York City and at the regular Friday morning discus- sion meeting at AA's General Service Office. The replacement of choice seems to be the Serenity Prayer, which also has a long history in AA going back to 1942. I'm happy to report that both the Serenity Prayer and Lord's Prayer appear to be alive and well here in Toledo, where we usually open meet- ings with the former and close with the latter. Any change, I'm sure, would require a group-conscience decision, which would come only if a majority in one's group voted for it. But why is the Lord's Prayer be- ing dropped in other locales? One ob- jection is that it is a Christian prayer and can be offensive to non-Christian members. Another objection is that agnostics and atheists are forced to put up with it, an unfair imposition. We also have a few women members who object to the male deity implied by addressing God as "Father." 46 April 2011