A Memorial Day Service


Memorial Day Service 2013

Music

Introductory Thought:

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in which we remember and honor those men and women who died while serving in the United States military.  It takes place on the final Monday of May.  Memorial Day has its origin in Decoration Day, a day that was set aside to remember the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.

Today, people across the United States will be going to gravesites to place U.S. flags and flowers.  Not only will our military be remembered, but also other loved ones who have gone before us.

Invocation:

In recognition of the meaning of this day, let us pray:

Heavenly Father, 
You have been our refuge and our strength, our peace and our hope during times of trial.  You have called us to be your own and to give you priority in our life as individuals and as a nation.  You have been attentive to our needs as a nation and protected our freedoms and our people. And for this we give you Thanks.

Today we remember that our freedom was not free, but it came at a cost, at great sacrifice to our service men and women and their families.  And at great cost to you and your Son Jesus.  As we gather as your people, help us to remember those who followed your example and out of love sacrificed themselves for us. Help us to treasure and be good stewards of the gifts they gave us: liberty, justice, land, a future, and faith.

In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen.


Poems
Dirge for Two Veterens
B Walt Whitman


THE last sunbeam
Lightly falls from the finish'd Sabbath,
On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking,
Down a new-made double grave.

Lo, the moon ascending,
Up from the east the silvery round moon,
Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,
Immense and silent moon.

I see a sad procession,
And I hear the sound of coming full-key'd bugles,
All the channels of the city streets they're flooding,
As with voices and with tears.

I hear the great drums pounding,
And the small drums steady whirring,
And every blow of the great convulsive drums,
Strikes me through and through.

For the son is brought with the father,
(In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell,
Two veterans son and father dropt together,
And the double grave awaits them.)

Now nearer blow the bugles,
And the drums strike more convulsive,
And the daylight o'er the pavement quite has faded,
And the strong dead-march enwraps me.

In the eastern sky up-buoying,
The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin'd,
('Tis some mother's large transparent face,
In heaven brighter growing.)

O strong dead-march you please me!
O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe me!
O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial!
What I have I also give you.

The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.

"IN A MOTHER'S EYES"
Songwriter © 1999 Andrew Dean

The day our flagpole was ready, We had no flag to fly
A mother stepped forward and said I have a flag with a tear in her eye
It was given to me the day that we laid my son to rest
He was a true blue soldier who gave his life his best.

I got a knot in my throat and a chill in my bones
A tear rolled down my face
A mother has lost her son at war
The pain on her face.

In a mother's eyes you can see red, white, and blue
In a mother's eyes you can see the pain so true
Freedom comes with a cost of sadness and loss
You can see in a mother's eyes.

When someone puts their life on the line so others can be free
It's a selfless act of courage and love, how thankful we all should be
And when I look at the flag today, I see a whole new meaning there
I see the men and the women who died for her
So in this freedom we can share.

In a mother's eyes you can see red, white, and blue
In a mother's eyes you can see the pain so true
Freedom comes with a cost of sadness and loss
You can see in a mother's eyes.

In a mother's eyes you can see red, white, and blue
In a mother's eyes you can see the pain so true
Freedom comes with a cost of sadness and loss
You can see in a mother's eyes.


Scripture:

Psalm 34:18 tells us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.”

Psalm 116:15 reminds us, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.”

And John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.”

Opportunity to Share (pull out flowers)

This morning, I’d like for us to take a moment to share what Memorial Day means for each of us.

First, What has been your or your family’s tradition on Memorial Day?

(time of sharing)

Who are you remembering this Memorial Day?

(time of sharing)

What are you thankful for on this Memorial Day?

(time of sharing)

Hand out Flags

Song – Patriotic

Poems

Final Verse of Star Spangled Banner

“Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
(Francis Scott Key, 1814)

Freedom’s Colors
By Roger W Hancock

Red is for Bravery;
Blood shed in sacrifice.
Freedom came with lives the price.

White is for Liberty;
Freedom’s purity.
Life be free [as God decreed].

Blue is for Justice;
As vast as the sky.
Over freedom’s land to occupy.


Prayer:
Let us now pray as a community. In response to the words, “we lift our hearts to you,”  Please say, “O God of mercy, hear our prayers.”

We pray for all who suffer as a result of war:

For the injured and the disabled, for the mentally distressed, and for those whose faith in God and in other people has been weakened or destroyed,
We lift our hearts to you:
O God of mercy, hear our prayers.

For the homeless and refugees, for those who are hungry, and for all who have lost their livelihood and security, we lift our hearts to you:
O God of mercy, hear our prayers.

For those who mourn the dead; for those who have lost husband, wife, children, or parents, and especially for those who have no hope in Christ to sustain them in their grief, we lift our hearts to you:
O God of mercy, hear our prayers.

For leaders who send young men and women to war,
That their judgment be sound
And their motives be pure,
we lift our hearts to you:
O God of mercy, hear our prayers.

For our children and their children, and their children’s children.
we lift our hearts to you:
O God of mercy, hear our prayers.
Amen

(Prayer taken and edited from “Chalice Worship”)

Scripture:

John 3:16-21
New International Version (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Benediction
Today is a day for remembering.  Our veterans, our loved ones, and the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us on the cross.  It is also a day to remember that the cross and the tombstone do not have the final say, because after the cross came the resurrection.  Jesus rose from the dead! And through faith in him, we also rise from the ashes to new life!  Amen.


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