Peace Sunday or Remembrance Day
Here are worship resources for Remembrance Day or Peace Sunday (on or near November 11).
Call to Worship & Opening Prayer
On this day of memory we gather to sing and to pray,
we remember the past and look to the future.
On this day when the guns once fell silent,
we come before you God, seeking Your peace.
On this day of hope in the face of terror,
we come before you God, praying with all our hearts:
God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come.
Open our eyes and the eyes of the nations
to find a different path through the disagreements of life in this world.
In this time of story, song, and prayer,
may we be re-committed to being people of Peace, true peace.
May we catch a vision of how the world could live together.
And so we echo the old prayers,
Make us channels of your peace.
Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with us!
~ written by Gord Waldie and posted on Worship Offerings.
Prayer of Intercession
Reconciling Christ, bless our efforts to bring about reconciliation.
Give us the strength to persevere without counting the hurts,
and to find within ourselves the capacity to keep on loving.
Give us the grace to be able to stand in the middle of situations,
and to be a conduit for the deep listening
which can lead to healing and forgiveness.
Help us to conduct ourselves with dignity,
giving and expecting respect, moving from prayer to action,
and from action back again into prayer.
Grant that we may be so grounded in your love,
that our security is not threatened if we change our minds,
or begin to see a better way to act.
Bless those who are called to reconcile on a large-scale –
politicians, world leaders, leaders of business,
and those who stand in the midst of bitter conflict.
Reconciling Christ, bless us and bless all who engage
in the sacred work of envisioning new wholeness,
and bringing people and nations together.
~ written by Ann Siddall, in Lent to Easter liturgies: Year C. Posted on the website of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre.
Prayer of Commitment
God of Love, God of Peace
This fractured word
Cries out in pain
Burns deep into my soul
And challenges me
To make a difference
God of Love, God of Peace
God of this world
Scarred by grief and tears
Ignorance and fear
Soften hearts of stone
And begin with mine
God of Love, God of Peace
Create within me
A heart for people
A desire for change
For new beginnings
To start this day
~ Copyright © John Birch, posted on Faith and Worship–Prayers and Resources.
Prayer for Peace
Gracious Lord, we dream of a world free of poverty and oppression, and we yearn for a world free of vengeance and violence. And we pray for your peace.
When our hearts ache for the victims of war and oppression, help us to remember that you healed people simply by touching them…, and give us faith in our ability to comfort and heal bodies and minds and spirits that have been broken by violence.
When the injustice of this world seems too much for us to handle, help us to remember that you fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish…, and give us hope that what we have to offer will turn out to be enough, too.
When fear of the power and opinions of others tempts us not to speak up for the least among us, help us to remember that you dared to turn over the tables of money changers…, and give us the courage to risk following you without counting the cost.
When we feel ourselves fill with anger at those who are violent and oppressive, help us remember that you prayed for those who killed you…, and give us compassion for our enemies, too.
When we tell ourselves that we have given all we can to bring peace to this world, help us to remember your sacrifice… , and give us the miracle of losing a little more of ourselves in serving you and our neighbors.
Walk with us, Lord, as we answer your call to be peacemakers. Increase our compassion, our generosity and our hospitality for the least of your children. Give us the courage, the patience, the serenity, the self-honesty and the gentleness of spirit that are needed in a world filled with turmoil and terror.
~ written by Jack Knox, pastor of Salem (Oregon) Mennonite Church. Posted on Glocal Christianity: the blog of Matt Stone.
A Response to War
Save us from weak resignation to violence
Teach us that restraint is the highest expression of power
That thoughtfulness and tenderness are marks of the strong.
Help us to love our enemies
Not by countenancing their sins,
But by remembering our own
And may we never for a moment forget
That they are fed by the same food,
Hurt by the same weapons,
Have children for whom they have the same high hopes as we do.
Grant us the ability
To find joy and strength not in the strident call to arms
To grasp our fellow creatures
In the striving for justice and truth.
~ prepared by a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim (August, 1990). From A Collection of Prayers for Peace, posted on the World Council of Churches website.
Call to Worship
In a world filled with violence and war,
we gather together to celebrate the promise of peace.
In a world filled with tyranny and oppression,
we gather together to celebrate the promise of justice for all.
In a world filled with hunger and greed,
we gather together to celebrate the promise of plenty for all.
Our hope is in the name of the Almighty God,
the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of heaven and earth.
~ from On Earth as in Heaven: Praying for Peace, MCC Peace Sunday Packet 2008.
Now, go forth from this place with renewed inspiration to do the work of God.
Seek good, not evil, love goodness, and establish justice.
This the greatest offering we can make;
letting justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.
Go in peace, with love for our neighbors.
~ written by Phyllis Tenney, a former BVS volunteer. Posted on the Church of the Brethren website.
Contemporary Hymn: For the Healing of the Nations
Worship Together #683
For the healing of the nations,
Lord, we pray with one accord,
for a just and equal sharing
of the things that earth affords.
To a life of love in action
help us rise and pledge our word.
Lead us forward into freedom,
from despair your world release,
that, redeemed from war and hatred,
all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness
fear will die and hope increase.
All that kills abundant living,
let it from the earth be banned:
pride of status, race or schooling,
dogmas that obscure your plan.
In our common quest for justice
may we hallow brief life's span.
You, Creator God, have written
your great name on humankind;
for our growing in your likeness
bring the life of Christ to mind;
that by our response and service
earth its destiny may find.
~ Fred Kaan. Words © 1968 by Hope Publishing Company. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.
NEANDER (“Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty”)
Contemporary Hymn: We Pray for Peace
We pray for peace, God, in our world,
so wrenched by war and sorrow.
Give us rebirth, and heal our earth
of fear and hate tomorrow.
Teach peace in every mind,
and heal all wounded humankind.
Teach peace in every heart,
as people of one Maker.
We pray for peace, God, in our streets,
where neighbors fear to travel.
Let gunfire end, our ways amend,
let violence unravel.
We pray for peace, God, in our homes,
where we have hurt those nearest.
Renew each will, and help us still
to reconcile our dearest.
We pray for peace, God, in our souls.
Oh, heal our selfish blindness!
God, touch each heart and help us start
to love each self with kindness.
~ written by Deborah Patterson, and posted on the website of the United Church of Christ, Webster Groves, Missouri.
GREENSLEEVES (“What child is this?”)
Contemporary Song: We Are Blessed
Bring heaven to earth, Lord
Bring peace where there’s fear
Bring life where there’s death, Lord
Bring joy in these tears
Bring love where there’s lust, Lord
Bring hope where there’s pain
Bring rest where there’s chaos
Bring faith where there’s fame.
You invite us to partner with you
To see your kingdom come.
We are blessed, to bless a world in pieces
We are loved, to love where love is not.
We are changed, to be the change you promised
We are freed, to be your hands, O God.
Lord we cry out to you
Change the atmosphere
Breathe new life in all who gather here.
Bring home to the homeless
Bring keys to the chained
Bring worth to the purchased
And touch to the shamed.
Bring flesh from your word, Lord
Bring truth where there’s spin
Bring risk where there’s safety
And grace where there’s sin.
In the broken, we shall see restored
the image of our King.
Bring justice to profit
Bring patience to growth
Bring wisdom to progress
Like food for the soul.
Bring freedom from debt, Lord
An end to excess
Bring closer your kingdom
By quiet success.
May we grow in the knowledge of you
Through every heart and face.
~ Copyright © 2007 Andy Flannagan.
Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxx8FoTUyFk
This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.