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A coalition of members of different religions, the Greater Lowell Interfaith Leadership Alliance, requested that the City Council review its tradition of reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of their meetings. Today Lowell is truly a city of extensive religious diversity; unfortunately this prayer does not reflect that wealth.
All indications are that the matter might be voted on tonight by the full Council. I do not know if it is in their official rules or it was a tradition that began over 4 decades ago.
By the way, this “tradition” of reciting this particular Christian prayer is not followed at the Council’s Sub-Committee meetings. Also, none of the City’s regulatory boards recite the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of their deliberations.
Last August when the topic was first raised, Lynne had a lengthy post, Separation of Church and State but not in Lowell, which stirred a good deal of debate on LiL. Everyone, even our commentators who are deeply religous agreed that the Lord’s Prayer should not be recited out loud, in unison by our City Council. I do not think these sentiments have changed.
There are many options being floated around, so we may end up with 9 different proposals tonight. The City solicitor is to render an opinion today on the matter so her judgment may impact the decision. Hopefully it will make it easy for the majority to change this tradition by opting for a moment of silence instead.
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