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First prayer in Congress

Jacob Duché
  • Jacob Duché

Be Though present O God of Wisdom and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that Order, Harmony, and Peace may be effectually restored, and the Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people. Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal Blessings as Thou seest expedience for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, They Son and our Saviour, Amen.

— First Prayer in Congress by Reverend Jacob Duche

Jacob Duché (1737–1798) was an American clergyman and first chaplain of the Continental Congress at the time of the American Revolution, during which time he served as rector of Christ Church in Philadelphia. Born the son of Colonel Jacob Duché, Sr., later mayor of Philadelphia (1761–1762) and grandson of Anthony Duché, a French Huguenot, Duché married Elizabeth Hopkinson, sister of Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

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