There are many excellent resources for prayers and liturgies in support of deployed personnel and families. Military chaplains in your area or the Chapter of the Anglican Military Ordinariate will be able to suggest appropriate resources for your particular parish circumstances. One useful resource is They Shall Grow Not Old – Liturgies for Remembrance, published by Canterbury Press 2006. A CD ROM comes with this resource.
As part of a litany or series of intercessions in a public liturgy, the following words may be helpful as a guide:
…As we pray for peace on earth let us remember all who have been called to place themselves in harm’s way for the sake of peace, security and justice, at home and abroad. Especially do we pray God’s protection for the members of the Armed Forces of this Country who serve in distant lands (including Name of region at this time). May their efforts and sacrifice bring peace and hope to others.We also remember their families at home:forthose that count the days, and for those who mourn. And we pray that the day may be hastened when war shall be no more.
Other prayers below have been adapted from various sources:
“Lord God of hosts, stretch forth your almighty arm to strengthen and protect all those who strive for peace, and especially those who serve in the Armed Forces of our country in places like N. at this time.Keep them safe from all evil, both in the day of battle, and in times of rest and training.Endue them with courage and loyalty, and grant that in all things, they may serve You, the Prince of Peace. Strengthen their families at home, and reunite them again in your Love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“Almighty God, we thank you for the liberties this country enjoys, and for those who have worked and suffered and fought to secure them:
- for freedom from war and want;
- for freedom of thought, conscience, and speech;
- for freedom of worship.
Give us grace to defend these liberties and use them responsibly in your service; and grant that through the efforts of those who serve in the Canadian Forces throughout the world, and especially in N., these freedoms may become the secure possession of all nations. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
(Developed from FDR’s Four Freedoms
speech in 1942)
“Everlasting God, we thank you for those who continue to give themselves in defence of freedom, mercy and good faith among the nations, and especially Canadian Forces personnel in N.; for those who in life and death have quickened our lives, opened our eyes to the truth, inspired our hearts by their witness, strengthened our wills by their example, and through whose sacrifice we live. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”
(Adapted from the former UCC service book)
“Almighty God, whose son is known as the Prince of Peace, we pray in earnest for all who serve in the Canadian Forces, especially in N. at this time.As they pursue their mission with courage, compassion, discipline, and honour, keep them safe under your protection, and inspire their chaplains of all faiths to give witness to the spirit and presence of the Prince of Peace. Watch over those who serve abroad and keep their families at home safe in your care. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”