The planets in their courses …

For the last several weeks, the Sunday Mass at the Cathedral has included the oft-neglected Eucharistic Prayer C, the so-called Star Trek Prayer. In all my time at the Cathedral, we’ve never used this option. (There are four Eucharistic Prayers in the Book of Common Prayer; prayers A and B are used most often and D, my very favorite, is usually reserved for the Easter Vigil.)

I admit I was less than enthusiastic about Prayer C; it has a different cadence than the others, sounds dated, rather than timeless like the other prayers, and it’s a little odd hearing the phrase “vast expanse of interstellar space” in a Eucharistic Prayer. However, Prayer C has grown on me. The news the last few weeks has been full of images from the New Horizons spacecraft as it approaches Pluto. 3 billion miles away, New Horizons is sending back absolutely stunning images of that distant world. Did you know the two Voyager spacecraft, launched in the late ’70s, are still sending data and responding to commands, even as they both have now left the solar system and crossed into interstellar space? I’ve been browsing through the pictures NASA has released this week and well as reading from Jim Bell’s new book about the Voyager mission – The Interstellar Age and thinking about those words of thanksgiving. It is truly good and right to give thanks to God for “the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.”

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