"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

25 May 2008

Memorial Day

I am privileged to spend this Memorial Day with my father, a WWII veteran, and be listening to stories of his work in the war, reminding me of the "ordinariness" of men who considered themselves simply to be doing their duty to the best of their ability -- and yet without their sacrifices, we would not have the freedoms we have today.   

From The Book of  Common Prayer:

general prayer for Memorial Day:
"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country.  Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

for all soldiers:
"O Lord God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers of our country.  Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

And I have to add this special one for sailors, of whom my oldest son is one;
"O eternal Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens and rulest the raging of the sea; Vouchsafe to take into thy almighty and most gracious protection our country's Navy, and all who serve therein.  Preserve them from the dangers of the sea, and from the violence of the enemy; that they may be a safeguard unto the United States of America, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our land may in peace and quietness serve thee our God, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

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