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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Prayer

It has been a wonderful Memorial Day weekend for my family, and I am grateful for that. I hope it has been a comforting weekend for you who might be reading this. But I also want to demonstrate solidarity with all those for whom Memorial Day is a time of renewed sorrow and painful reflection. In that spirit, I offer this prayer for your consideration. I looked at quite a few reflections and found this to express the prayer of my heart most clearly. Especially on my heart are those soldiers with, as the prayer says, "minds sickened by the sight and sounds of war."

Almighty God,
In whom we live, love, and have our being,

We take time today to uplift the heavy hearts 

Of those for whom Memorial Day 

Is more than a mere diversion, 

But is, instead, a painful time of reflection, lamentation 

And enduring bereavement.
This day we remember with compassion

Your children who have lost their lives to war;

Incline us to honor their memory, dear Lord, 

With a sincere pledge to seek peace

And nonviolent solutions to world conflict.
We pray for the safety of those entering military service,

And succor for the many returning from combat 

With wounded bodies,

Or minds

Sickened by the sight and sounds of war.
Our prayers also extend, Great Comforter, 

To those who still wait and pray

Day by anxious day

For that precious moment of reunion

With a distant family member, friend, or loved one.
And to others – whose reunion has been sorrowfully delayed

Until that Heavenly homecoming with Christ

In the fullness of time – 

We offer the gentle assurance 

Of your promise to all believers,

“Blessed are those who mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

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