Friday, May 25, 2007

A Pacifist's Memorial Day Prayer

Mystery of our lives,

as we begin this Memorial Day weekend we are mindful of those who have sacrificed everything in the service of their countries. Sometimes the losses were in resistance to evil or oppression; so many other times the losses were for political or economic conflicts that should have been resolved without violence.

When the causes were just and when they were not, the lives lost to war were sacred, full of promise and potential, and we regret that wars are still waged and lives are still lost.

Not only must we remember the courageous souls who were sent by their governments to die on battlefields, but we must also remember with regret the conditions that lead some people to believe that offering their lives in military service is their best or only hope for economic or professional achievement.

We must remember the times we claimed all fighting was for "freedom" when in truth the battles did not advance our freedoms nor the cause of liberty or justice elsewhere.

May we repent for the times that we made our country, our flag, our leaders, or our privileges idols to be unquestionably worshiped, and may we never again allow people to die for our idolatries.

Let us honor those whose courage sent them into war, and those whose courage caused them to object to war. Let us remember those who died on the fields of battle and those who fortunately survived. Let us remember those who died in non-military battles - those who died in the struggle for civil rights, for gay liberation, and those who died on the viral battlefield of AIDS; their sacrifices were noble as well and we recall them with sadness.

Finally, let us continue to hope and to work without ceasing for peace in our world.

Source of all holiness, Fountain of all hope, gather our thoughts and aspirations and prayers together and let your healing spirit of peace now enfold our world. Amen.

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