Fred Hollomon has been opening each session of the Senate with prayer for 31 years. However, Hollomon’s prayers aren’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill invocation. Each and every one of them are all set to rhyme.
The 86-year-old chaplain says that he spends approximately two hours every night giving careful thought to how he will open the next session in prayer. Hollomon tries to keep his prayers attuned to the business of the day and to challenge the government to live Godly lives.
“Remind us, Lord, deception exacts a heavy toll/The blaze of stolen glory turns to bitter cold./When the rule by which we live is winning at all costs/A thousand victories cannot atone for the integrity we have lost.”
However, when Hollomon was recently diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, he decided to step down from his position. His departure from the Senate floor was sad news to many, who feel that Hollomon will be irreplaceable.
“The next guy in doesn’t have a prayer,” Senator Dick Kelsey joked. “You can’t repeat his style.”
“When I come to the Senate every day and get ready to start the session, I always look around to make sure Fred’s there. Fred won’t be there. So, that will be hard,” said Senate President Steve Morris. “He’s been a true friend as well as taken care of us as a pastor.”
Hollomon’s rhyming prayers have been archived by the Senate and are also available in a publication called Book of Uncommon Prayers.
“Some seem to think that Sunday is the only day God’s alive/And the church the only place in which You can survive./Some say if You escape, they will stop You at the door/Since government and God cannot be friendly anymore,” Hollomon prayed during one session. “We need You in the chambers/We need You in the halls/We need You lots of places/Outside the church’s walls./We need You in the office and we need You in committees/We need You when we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty./We thank you, Lord, You’re not confined to some sanctuary/You’re always near to help us fight our daily adversary.”
Hollomon was formerly a Baptist pastor and had served 50 years total in ministry.