Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day and originated in the years following the Civil War. It became an office holiday in 1971. It was designated in May 1868 for the purpose of decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country. The date was chosen because it didn’t recognize any particular battle but was to be a day to remember.
Over the generations it has become the unofficial start of summer. The Marker in the year as we transition from one season to another.
Over the long weekend people will travel, picnic, celebrate, parade, remember, visit the resting places of loved ones, grieve, and prepare for what’s next.
How ever people are marking the Memorial weekend lets us pray for safe travels and gatherings, for those living with a loss of a loved one , and for those who grieve and remember those who gave their lives for freedom and peace.
Eternal God, from whom all life comes, to whom all life returns,
we give thanks for all who served our country in the military.
We give thanks for sacrifices made and for those who gave the full measure of devotion. We give thanks for their lives, their goodness, and their love.
This Memorial Day weekend we pray for families and friends and all who grieve for loved ones who died in service to the country, or in accidents, or from drugs, or from illness. Death, not matter how it comes, leaves a wound or scar upon our hearts.
For those who find this weekend more difficult than others meet them in the valley of death’s shadow. Embrace them in the healing warmth of your comfort, grace and love.
We pray for those who need the break of the long weekend to relax, to renew, to step away from stress and chaos and to be with friends and family. Keep them safe as they travel. Grant them the rest and renewal we all need from time to time.
On this Memorial Weekend let us remember that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.