Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Memorial Day Litany

For better or for worse, our faith and our patriotism are embedded in one another.  We could choose to separate the two, but I sincerely feel that when we honor this connection across different faiths, we also open the door to be held accountable to the message of reconciliation which accompanies the calling to fight and endure suffering for freedom.
Our congregation has a tradition of doing a Memorial Day Litany and I edited a few lines in an attempt to include this parallel message of deliverance from evil and reconciliation with one another.  Feel free to use in your congregation or family gathering.
Memorial Day Litany
Minister: Lord, you have called us to be the salt and the light of our world.  Today we come before you, giving thanks for all of the faithful who have gone before us and fought the good fight through faith, that we might appreciate the many liberties we enjoy. For justice, freedom, the pursuit of happiness and the opportunity to worship where we please,
All: We give thanks to you, O God, our creator, redeemer, and sustainer.
Minister: For those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we cherish, in our own country and abroad,
All: We give thanks to you, O God, our protector, liberator, and reconciler.
Minister: For those who continue to risk their lives for the sake of freedom,
All: Let us support their every effort and stand by them and their families in time of need.
Minister: Guide our nation in the way of truth and peace.
All: Let our conversations reflect your teachings, wisdom, and mercy.
Minister: We pray for our President, his advisors, military leaders and Congress in these tense times.
All: Give them courage to listen and act in cooperation, boldness, and benevolence.  Guide their steps to fight against those who spread hate and tyranny throughout the world. Almighty God, you are our strength and our shield. Guide each of us as agents of peace, liberation, and reconciliation in the legacy of those who have gone before us. Amen.

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