Ask Bill about how the Lord's Prayer was added.
Our thanks to Arthur S. for the following:
April 14, 1959
Am right sorry for my delay in
answering. Lois and I were a long time out of the country and this was followed
by an attack of the marathon type of flu that has been around here in New York.
We are okay now, however, but I did want to explain my delay.
Now about the business of adding
the Lord's Prayer to each A.A. meeting.
This practice probably came from
the Oxford Groups who were influential in the early days of A.A. You have
probably noted in AA. Comes of Age what the connection of these people in A.A.
really was. I think saying the Lord's Prayer was a custom of theirs following
the close of each meeting. Therefore it quite easily got shifted into a general
custom among us.
Of course there will always be
those who seem to be offended by the introduction of any prayer whatever into an
ordinary A.A. gathering. Also, it is sometimes complained that the Lord's Prayer
is a Christian document. Nevertheless this Prayer is of such widespread use and
recognition that the arguments of its Christian origin seems to be a little
farfetched. It is also true that most A.A.ís believe in some kind of God and
that communication and strength is obtainable through His grace. Since this is
the general consensus it seems only right that at least the Serenity Prayer and
the Lord's Prayer be used in connection with our meetings. It does not seem
necessary to defer to the feelings of our agnostic and atheist newcomers to the
extent of completely hiding our light under a bushel.
However, around here, the leader of
the meeting usually asks those to join him in the Lord's Prayer who feel that
they would care to do so. The worst that happens to the objectors is that they
have to listen to it This is doubtless a salutary exercise in tolerance at their
stage of progress.
So that's the sum of the Lord's
Prayer business as I recall it. Your letter made me wonder in just what
connection you raise the question.
Meanwhile, please know just how
much Lois and I treasure the friendship of you both. May Providence let our
paths presently cross one of these days.
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