City Council Debating Proposed Changes to 40-year Prayer Tradition

November 29, 2006

Author: Michael Lafleur

Source: Lowell Sun

LOWELL -- City councilors last night again considered proposed changes to their 40-year tradition of reciting the Lord's Prayer prior to their regular meetings but tabled the issue for further discussion.

Representatives of the Greater Lowell Interfaith Leadership Alliance (GLILA) gave members of the council's rules subcommittee a formal proposal to begin each meeting with a prayer from one of the five world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

A different religion's prayer would be said each week. The Lord's Prayer -- one of the most sacred supplications in the Christian faith -- would be the Christian prayer.

Councilors Edward "Bud" Cauflield, Armand Mercier and Rita Mercier all said that option would be unpalatable. They oppose supplanting the Lord's Prayer and want to say one of the other religions' prayers in addition to it each week.