Memorial Day Prayer (2018)
O holy and blessed Trinity, whose very nature is the endless outpouring of self-giving love, we gather to remember all those who have given their lives in service and sacrifice for the welfare of their fellow citizens and the preservation of the ideals and principles which bind us together as a people.
We give thanks for all the men and women in uniform who have made the ultimate sacrifice in times of armed conflict; and we also pray for the victims of war in every land. In your mercy, wash away the stain of violence from every soul, enfold the departed in your loving embrace, and grant them eternal peace.
And we ask you to keep us ever mindful of the living veterans––many of them homeless––who continue to suffer the wounds of battle in body, mind and spirit.
In your merciful presence, we also remember with gratitude the ones who have lost their lives while standing up for justice and peace. May the example of their sacrifice remind us of our own duty to resist everything which demeans, oppresses or harms your precious and beloved children.
Grant us, we pray, wisdom in our national life, that we may never be eager for war, nor put our own interests above the greater good of the human family for which your Son Jesus Christ gave up his life. Teach us compassion, forgive us our pride, free us from fear, deliver us from evil.
And guide us toward that peaceable kingdom that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayers, when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the fierce will no more devour the small. May our weapons fall from our hands, our hearts find release from envy, and this warring world welcome at last your promised reign of peace.
O God of time and history, bring that day closer. We pray this in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus your Son. Amen.
written by the Rev. Jim Friedrich. Jim is an Episcopal priest, liturgical creative, filmmaker, writer, musician, teacher and retreat leader. His itinerant ministry is devoted to religious imagination and holy wonder. He lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington. He blogs at the Religious Imagineer