On Thursday at the centre, the chaplain rang a bell at 9 pm for evening prayers even though only one of the seafarers present was a Christian. All the rest were Hindus. Our family joined in the chapel so we could experience this devotional time and to show the young man that he was not alone in his faith.
Here is part of the liturgy that was used:
"O God, I ask you to take me into your care and protection, along with all those who sail in ships. make me alert and wise in my duties. Make me faithful in the time of routine, and prompt to decide, and courageous to act in any time of crisis. Protect me from the dangers and perils of the sea. And even in the storm, grant that there may be peace and calm within my heart. When I am far from home, and far from loved ones, and far from the country which I know, help me to be quite sure that wherever I am, I can never be beyond your love and care. Keep me true to my loved ones and help them to be true to me. And every time we have to part, bring us together in safety and happiness again at the end of my contract. This I ask for your love's sake. Amen"
So often we take for granted that there will be products on the shelves at all our favourite stores. While many of these goods are produced locally, a good deal are imported and come by the cheapest transportation method possible, cargo ships. Really, this is nothing new, as I learned from an exhibit at a Montreal museum about the trade in tea from the 1600's onward. We do well to remember the individuals who leave their families for extended periods of time to make things possible in our global economy.
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