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Wisdom from the BCP on the Fourth of July

Wisdom from the BCP on the Fourth of July

Byron Rushing, vice-president of the House of Deputies, sends these words of wisdom for Independence Day:


Let me again take this opportunity to remind Episcopalians in the United States that many of us do not consider the words–“the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us”–in the Independence Day collect (BCP, p.242 or p.190) to be accurate. Look around your congregations and reflect if all the ancestors of the “us” got their liberty when this nation was founded.

A better and approved BCP collect for the 4th is “For the Nation” (p.258 or 207):

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace:

Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Canadians’ Canada Day collect (July 1) also works for us in the USA and in all the other countries in which The Episcopal Church is.

Almighty God,

whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation.

Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


… and don’t forget the Thanksgivings for National Life (p.838 and 839):

We thank you for the great resources of this nation. They

make us rich, though we often exploit them.

Forgive us.

We thank you for the men and women who have made this

country strong. They are models for us, though we often fall

short of them.

Inspire us.

We thank you for the torch of liberty which has been lit in

this land. It has drawn people from every nation, though we

have often hidden from its light.

Enlighten us.

We thank you for the faith we have inherited in all its rich

variety. It sustains our life, though we have been faithless

again and again.

Renew us.

Help us, O Lord, to finish the good work here begun.

Strengthen our efforts to blot out ignorance and prejudice,

and to abolish poverty and crime. And hasten the day when

all our people, with many voices in one united chorus, will

glorify your holy Name. Amen.


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Excellent reminder. Thanks, Byron.

June Butler

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