Perhaps you remember the days when a "priest, a minister and a rabbi" would be invited to civic events and each would be invited to pray in his own faith's fashion and vocabulary. That's seldom the case now when it's more likely that only one clergy-person is invited and asked to offer a prayer.
Here's the prayer I will use on Memorial Day at one of Concord's several town observances of the holiday. Because people of many faiths will be present, I have written the prayer to be as inclusive as possible. On the same day my parish will celebrate Mass in our cemetery praying (in our Catholic voice and ritual) for those who are buried there and for all who have gone before us.
Let us pray...
Memorial Day Prayer
In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts,
let each of us name and call on the One whose power over us
is great and gentle, firm and forgiving, holy and healing…
You who created us,
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer this day.
Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…
Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own
and give us hearts as generous as theirs…
Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…
Help us to shape and make a world
where we will lay down the arms of war
and turn our swords into ploughshares
for a harvest of justice and peace…
Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
and let your healing be the hope in our hearts...
Hear our prayer this day
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.
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Posted by Concord Pastor at 11:40 PM