John Christopherson, my grandmother's older brother, died in the Great War and is buried in England. His photograph in uniform, taken at the drug store in Stanley, Wisconsin, shortly before he departed, always had a place of honor on my grandmother's bedroom bureau. On this Veterans' Day, with deepest thanksgiving.
From the Office of the Suffragan Bishop for Chaplaincies of the Episcopal Church
A Prayer for Veterans Day
Governor of Nations, our Strength and Shield:
we give you thanks for the devotion and courage
of all those who have offered military service for this country:
For those who have fought for freedom; for those who laid down their lives for others;
for those who have borne suffering of mind or of body;
for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.
On our behalf they have entered into danger,
endured separation from those they love,
labored long hours, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime.
Lift up by your mighty Presence those who are now at war;
encourage and heal those in hospitals
or mending their wounds at home;
guard those in any need or trouble;
hold safely in your hands all military families;
and bring the returning troops to joyful reunion
and tranquil life at home;
Give to us, your people, grateful hearts
and a united will to honor these men and women
and hold them always in our love and our prayers;
until your world is perfected in peace
through Jesus Christ our Savior.
This prayer may be used as a congregational litany with the following responses to each stanza:
1. We thank you and praise you, our Strength and Shield!
2. We thank you and praise you, our Strength and Shield!
3. We than you and praise you, our Strength and Shield!
4. Watch over and keep them, Blessed Savior.
5. Hear our prayer in His Name. Amen.
Compiled by the Rev. Jennifer Phillips, Vicar, St. Augustine’s Chapel, University of Rhode Island campus. Her prayers appear in supplemental liturgical materials for the Episcopal Church and in her books of prayers including “Simple Prayers for Complicated Lives.”
With thanksgiving and continued prayers for all those in our extended St. Andrew's parish family who have served in the uniform of our country, and for those who serve now.