Monday, January 3, 2011

Of Prayers and Parties

Although we are a secular group, we are after all celebrating the birthday of a Saint...and this is New Orleans, a largely Catholic town with many a girl named after Joan herself! So we can't help but pray while we party for Joan's 599th birthday. We eat king cake "as" her birthday cake, handle out candles for the procession "as" her birthday candles...and in exchange, we pray to her asking that our New Year be blessed by her! (We have also prayed to her for assistance with the Superbowl and an end to the oil spill...) While she is not technically the patron saint of New Orleans (that would be Our Lady of Prompt Succor, which is hard to beat) many citizens consider her to be so.

Here is a prayer composed by yours truly. You'll see it on prayer cards designed by the local design firm Deep Fried Advertising, with an image of Joan on her statue in bright shades of yellow, red, and blue. Look for these to be handed out by the krewe on Twelfth Night.

On this day of birth for Joan of Arc,
the Maid of Orléans, we celebrate the
rebirth of New Orleans.

We walk on this night to reflect on the
past year and rejuvenate for the New
Year. We honor all those who have fallen
by the sword, fire, and flood.
We burn
candles to brighen this Twelfth Night,
lighting the way for Mardi Gras season.

Joan of Arc, Saint, Warrior, Leader, and
Honorary Maid of New Orleans, we
thank you for shining your golden light
on us and ask you to bless New Orleans
in 2011, on this, the anniversary of the
599th year of your birth.

January 6, 2011
St Joan of Arc Parade-New Orleans
Joan of Arc January 6, 1412-May 31, 1431