Memorial Day 2015: Prayer and Song

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It's unfortunate that millions will mark Memorial Day with time off and a cookout but fail to pause and spend time to honor those who gave their lives in service of their nation.  

I wrote this prayer some years back for the Memorial Day exercises in my town.  It's composed to be as inclusive as possible of all who might be in attendance at such an event.  Perhaps you'll print or copy it for family and neighborhood gatherings you'll be part of today - and invite those present to pause, pray for and honor those for whom Memorial Day is intended...  

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 today.

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:
give us hearts as generous as theirs…

Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in serving others:
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 today
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.


The Lord is my shepherd, 
therefore can I lack nothing.
He shall feed me in a green pasture; 

and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
He shall convert my soul; 

and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, 
for his Name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; 
thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
Thou shalt prepare a table before me 

against them that trouble me; 
thou hast anointed my head with oil, 
and my cup shall be full.
But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me 

all the days of my life; 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Memorial Day Prayer
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