May 25, 2020

MEMORIAL DAY--A TIME FOR REMEMBRANCE



Words For Centering

O God of every nation,
of every, race and land,
redeem the whole creation
with your almighty hand;
where hate and fear divide us
and bitter threats are hurled,
in love and mercy guide us
and heal our strife-torn world.

From search for wealth and power
and scorn of truth and right,
from trust in bombs that shower
destruction through the night,
from pride of race and nation
and blindness to your way,
deliver every nation,
eternal God, we pray!

Lord, strengthen all who labor
that we may find release
from fear of rattling saber,
from dread of war’s increase;
when hope and courage falter,
your still small voice be heard;
with faith that none can alter,
your servants undergird.

Keep bright in us the vision
of days when war shall cease,
when hatred and division
give way to love and peace,
till dawns the morning glorious
when truth and justice reign
and Christ shall rule victorious
o’er all the world’s domain.


Prayers For the Day (When One Prayer Cannot Say Enough)

O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered,
draw near to all who mourn the loss of those near and dear to them.
In the midst of their deep sorrow grant them the comfort of your presence.
Give them faith to feel the calm assurance of your mercy and to know the blessing
of your peace that passes all understanding.
In your most holy name we pray.

A brief silence is kept.

God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely into your Kin-Dom of justice and peace.
In your most holy name we pray.

A brief silence is kept.

Loving God,
no one is a stranger to you
and no one is ever far from your loving care.
In your kindness, watch over refugees and victims of war,
those separated from their loved ones,
young people who are lost,
and those who have left home or who have run away from home.
Bring them back safely to the place where they long to be
and help us always to show your kindness
to strangers and to all in need.
In your most holy name we pray.

A brief silence is kept.

O God, Protector of all people and nations,
protect my family and friends
from the violence and evil of others.
Keep them safe from the weapons of hate and destruction
and guard them against the deeds of evildoers.
Grant them your protection and care
in tranquility and peace.
In your most holy name we pray.

A brief silence is kept.

Jesus, Sovereign of Peace,
you have asked us to love our enemies
and pray for those who persecute us.
We pray for our enemies and those who oppose us.
With the help of the Holy Spirit,
may all people learn to work together
for that justice which brings true and lasting peace.
To you be glory and honor for ever and ever.

A brief silence is kept.

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men
and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the
liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this
land share in the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines.
This we ask and pray in your name.

A brief silence is kept.

O God, we ask your strength, that we might dedicate ourselves to perfecting
your kingdom of peace and justice among nations. Let us give thanks for
the many blessings of freedom which we possess, purchased at the cost of
many lives and sacrifices. Fill us with courage to fulfill our tasks and in no
way break faith with the fallen. We commend these fallen to your mercy and
ask that you give them eternal rest.
This we ask and pray in your name.

A brief silence is kept.

O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered,
draw near to all who mourn the loss of those near and dear to them.
In the midst of their deep sorrow grant them the comfort of your presence.
Give them faith to feel the calm assurance of your mercy and to know the blessing
of your peace that passes all understanding.
This we ask and pray in your name.

A brief silence is kept.

O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, we raise the pipe to you, to your messengers
the four winds, and to Mother Earth who provides for your children. Give
us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, to be kind to each
other so that they may grow with peace in mind. Let us learn to share all
the good things that you provide for us on this Earth.
(from the Native American tradition)

A brief silence is kept.

Come, let us go to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the
Most High. And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears
into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall
they learn war any more. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord
of Hosts has spoken.
(from the Jewish tradition)

A brief silence is kept.

Praise be to the God of the Universe who has created us and made us into
tribes and nations that we may know each other, not that we may despise
each other. If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards
peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is one that hears and knows all things.
And the servants of God Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth
in humility, and when we address them, we say, “Peace.”
(from the Islamic tradition)

A brief silence is kept.

Almighty God our heavenly Mother and Father, guide the nations of the world into the way
of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit
of righteousness, that they may become the Kin-Dom of our Redeemer,
your Beloved and Anointed One, Jesus the Christ.
(from the Christian tradition)

A brief silence is kept.

O God, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union; where
there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness,
light; where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to
be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are
pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
 (Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226) 


Closing Words

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.
(Stanza 3: Georgia Harkness)


The Trumpet's Sound



______________________________________________________
Prayers are adapted from various worship resources including 
the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodiwt Church,
the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Luthern Church in America,
the Nation Cathedral--Washington DC.

The Opening Words For Centering are the lyrics of a hymn:
Author: William Watkins Reid (1958)
Copyright © Hope Publishing