Prayer has always been a central focus of Catholic life. Yet, so much of Catholic prayer has, at best, ignored the LGBTQ+ Catholic community and, at worst, actually denounced and defamed our community. If DignityHouston were a lone voice trying to bring affirming, meaningful prayer into the lives of LGBTQ+ Catholics, ours would be a terrifying, lonely journey. Fortunately, brilliant, brave, and stalwart folks like Kittredge Cherry, a prominent lesbian Christian author, and gay theologian Patrick S. Cheng, bring light and fellowship to our journey make it a lot more fun.
Kitt, an ordained minister of the Metropolitan Community Church, is the author of many books, articles, and other materials. For many of us, she is perhaps best known for her outstanding Web site, JesusInLove.org. If you haven't visited it, with its wealth of resources, including LGBTQ Saints, explorations into the world of Queer Christ, artists, and a blog that never fails to uplift, amaze, and stretch even the most tired and jaded minds, take a while to visit it and bask in a world of love, Jesus, and an LGBTQ+ fellowship that you will find no place else.
Back in 2012, Kitt and Patrick gave us one of the most beautiful, affirming prayers that you will ever find, the Rainbow Christ Prayer. Based in part on the LGBT Rainbow Flag, this prayer is wonderfully suited for use during LGBTQ+ Pride Month and all year round. In fact, if you take a moment to look at our Liturgy, you will find that it forms an important part of the Liturgy we engage in every Saturday. Over its lifetime, the prayer has gone through a number of variations, but the original version which we present here is a perennial favorite.
Let us pray.
Rainbow Christ, you embody all the colors of the world. Rainbows serve as bridges between different realms: heaven and earth, east and west, queer and non-queer. Inspire us to remember the values expressed in the rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.
Red is for life, the root of spirit. Living and Self-Loving Christ, you are our Root. Free us from shame and grant us the grace of healthy pride so we can follow our own inner light. With the red stripe in the rainbow, we give thanks that God created us just the way we are.
Orange is for sexuality, the fire of spirit. Erotic Christ, you are our Fire, the Word made flesh. Free us from exploitation and grant us the grace of mutual relationships. With the orange stripe in the rainbow, kindle a fire of passion in us.
Yellow is for self-esteem, the core of spirit. Out Christ, you are our Core. Free us from closets of secrecy and give us the guts and grace to come out. With the yellow stripe in the rainbow, build our confidence.
Green is for love, the heart of spirit. Transgressive Outlaw Christ, you are our Heart, breaking rules out of love. In a world obsessed with purity, you touch the sick and eat with outcasts. Free us from conformity and grant us the grace of deviance. With the green stripe in the rainbow, fill our hearts with untamed compassion for all beings.
Blue is for self-expression, the voice of spirit. Liberator Christ, you are our Voice, speaking out against all forms of oppression. Free us from apathy and grant us the grace of activism. With the blue stripe in the rainbow, motivate us to call for justice.
Violet is for vision, the wisdom of spirit. Interconnected Christ, you are our Wisdom, creating and sustaining the universe. Free us from isolation and grant us the grace of interdependence. With the violet stripe in the rainbow, connect us with others and with the whole creation.
Rainbow colors come together to make one light, the crown of universal consciousness. Hybrid and All-Encompassing Christ, you are our Crown, both human and divine. Free us from rigid categories and grant us the grace of interwoven identities. With the rainbow, lead us beyond black-and-white thinking to experience the whole spectrum of life.
Rainbow Christ, you light up the world. You make rainbows as a promise to support all life on earth. In the rainbow space, we can see all the hidden connections between sexualities, genders, and races. Like the rainbow, may we embody all the colors of the world! Amen.
Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. By permission.