For the 4th: “A Hemisphere Where All Live in Harmony”

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New American citizens say the Pledge of Allegiance after taking the oath of citizenship at a U.S. naturalization ceremony at Austin’s Delco Center on April 26, 2011. The ceremony included 984 people from 105 countries. (Photo by Jay Janner)

This morning we sang this song at our interfaith vigil at the Broadview, IL immigrant detention center – a powerful reworking of “America the Beautiful” by Sister Miriam Therese Winter.

I encourage you to sing it at your 4th of July gathering today – a profoundly aspirational prayer for the America/s – “A hemisphere where all people here/all live in harmony:”

How beautiful, our spacious skies,
our amber waves of grain.
Our purple mountains as they rise
above the fruited plain.
America! America! God’s gracious gifts abound.
And more and more we’re grateful for
life’s beauty all around.

Indigenous and immigrant,
our daughters and our sons;
Oh, may we never rest content till all are truly one.
America! America! God grant that we may be
a sisterhood and brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.

How beautiful, sincere lament,
the wisdom born of tears.
The courage called for to repent
the bloodshed through the years.
America! America! God grant that we may be
a nation blessed, with none oppressed,
true land of liberty.

How beautiful, two continents,
and islands in the sea
That dream of peace, non-violence,
all people living free.
Americas! Americas! God grant that we may be
a hemisphere where all people here
all live in harmony.

9 thoughts on “For the 4th: “A Hemisphere Where All Live in Harmony”

  1. Sister Miriam Winter’s rewording makes this day go much better. So much for which to repent; so much for which to be grateful, so much more to do. Thanks, Brant

  2. SING it? We couldn’t even READ it aloud without dissolving into tears! Still, thank you for sharing this beautiful version.

  3. Brilliant and so very moving for what we see happeninf in our country that ahs no realtion to this song. hope maybe someday?

  4. Beautiful! The new words to this song have charted the path toward becoming an authentically “shining city on a hill.” May we strive to live up to them. Thank you so much, Rabbi Rosen and Sister Miriam Therese Winter!

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