Faithful Celebrations Series: A Memorial Day to Remember
Faithful Celebrations is a series published by Church Publishing Incorporated that demonstrates the different ways in which secular holidays could be incorporated into Episcopal worship. The latest installment, Faithful Celebrations: Making Time with Family and Friends, was just released in time for the late spring and summer holidays.
This book looks in depth at each holiday during this time of the year, and provides its history and connections to religious celebration, ideas for crafts, prayers, scripture, outreach, and education that church leaders can use as inspiration for their own celebrations.
Memorial Day, for example, is described as a dignified occasion for remembering soldiers who gave their lives or suffered grave injury in defense of our country, rather than what it’s become for many, a time to mark the onset of summer. While revelry can certainly be a part of one’s experience, it’s important to take time to observe the solemnity of day and reflect on the sacrifices of veterans and current service members.
Here are some suggestions the book offers for how to add meaning to your Memorial Day.
Activities and Suggestions
The book explains that, “The poppy is the enduring symbol of remembrance of the First World War.” You may have seen public figures in the United Kingdom wearing artificial poppies pinned to their lapels on Remembrance Day, their Memorial Day equivalent. To help teach children about this custom, the book suggests craft ideas for different age levels.
Faithful Celebrations’ touches on the importance of connecting to Memorial Day by “honor[ing] and pray[ing] for those who have died.” The authors stress that, “We need to give thanks to our veterans for their tremendous sacrifice and that of their families.”
In that spirit, storytelling and Bible Study are valuable to engage in. The book offers scripture readings, book suggestions, and discussion questions to consider. It also suggests patriotic songs and poetry that can be incorporated into services or a special event honoring veterans.
One way to act in accordance with the spirit of Memorial Day is to put “faith in action” and prepare care packages for those currently serving. The book recommends materials to use, advanced preparation, and directions.
Churches could also host a cook-out at which veterans or those currently serving are honored guests or speakers. The book includes opening and closing prayers.
Earth Day and Other Days
Faithful Celebrations also examines and offers thoughts for Earth Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Summer Solstice, the Fourth of July, and Summer Celebration of God’s Creation.
Bring faith and added meaning to your celebrations this spring and summer, and year-round, with Faithful Celebrations. Check out the entire series.