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Resources for the Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 Tragedy:

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9/11 Victim's Name List

Complete 911 Anniversary Service
with prayers, hymn suggestions and devotional reflection

(some prayers are dapted from the General Board of Discipleship resources)

Greeting

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Church, world, souls, memories, longings and desires yearn for the ancient vision of the prophets to be fulfilled.

Right side:
The eyes blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongues of the speechless sing for joy.

Left side:
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert,
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water.
        Isaiah 35: 5-7

Leader: By the Spirit, a vision wells up in the people of God who yearn for healing and restoration; for justice, not terrorism; for forgiveness, not hate.

Right side:
Then God brought me back to the entrance of the temple. There, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple . . . south of the altar . .
    it was ankle-deep . . .
    then it was knee-deep . . .
    then it was up to the waist . . .
    then it was a river I could not cross.

Left side:
God led me back along the bank of the river.
As I came back,
I saw on the bank of the river a great many trees
on one side and on the other.
God said to me,

“Wherever the river goes…everything will live.
There will grow all kinds of trees for food.
Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”
 
From Ezekiel 471-12

 

Prayer of Remembrance

Remember, O God, those who suffer the loss of loved ones …
Remember all who have died in the conflict with terrorism …
Remember those who are still filled with fear or anger …
Remember this nation and those we call enemies …
Stir your church to declare your peace where there is hatred …
Hold all in your love and justice …
(Here the presiding minister or another person might offer specific intercessions appropriate to the occasion)

 


Devotional Reflection:

Ten Years After 9/11--What Did It All Mean?
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

This September 11th we mark the first anniversary of the most devastating terror attack on US soil. I think most would agree that these tragic events and the ensuing war on terrorism changed our world.  No matter where you live in the world you will likely feel the affect of 9/11/2001.  We're all affected by  increased security measures at airports and in public places and we still experience the loss of some privacy privileges.

Ten years ago we were in shock, grief, anger as a nation; then we went to war to stamp out terror.

Millions of people around the world will celebrate a memorial service marking the first anniversary of 9/11. What are we trying to accomplish with such a service?  What emotion is it reflective of? Where is it going to move us? The original 911 memorial services were like funeral services--a place where we could express our grief, our fare-wells to loved ones, and where we could find some assurance in our faith--assurance in the fact that God is still God and that life will go on.

While the original memorial service provided for us a space to grieve, find closure, and search for signs of hope, remembering 911 a decade later will give opportunity to reflect, re-evaluate, and affirm our faith.

During the Holocaust in Nazi Germany an inscription was found on the wall of a dark, windowless cellar penned by the hand of an unidentified  Jew who was living there in hiding. The inscription read:

I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining
I believe in love, even when feeling it not.
I believe in God, even when God is silent.

What a great statement of faith in God and in the goodness of life in the midst of darkness.  Can we embrace such a trusting faith? Perhaps, a decade later, some meaning can be found in the utterly meaningless and inhumane events of 9/11; perhaps a memorial service will help us to affirm the goodness of God and the order of creation once again.

At the end of the day on September 11, 2011, may we be able to pray for and envision world peace once again; may God help us do our part to help make it come true.

May God be with us now and forevermore--even through the darkest of nights. Amen

 

Prayer of Confession (especially composed for the 9/11 anniversary)

God our hope and refuge,
we confess that anger and hatred have held on to us.
Healing has begun, but loss is still real.
      We are not in control.
      We don’t like being vulnerable.
      We still want security or the illusion of it.
      We still want our enemies to be annihilated
      and for our lives to return to safety and Shalom.
Forgive us and heal us.
Raise us to new life.
Strengthen us in the way of compassion and justice.
Fix our faith on you
      so we know that nothing can separate us from you,
      through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Suggested Scripture Readings:

Isaiah 35: 1-10
Isaiah 40: 28-31
Isaiah 43:1-3a, 18-19, 25
Isaiah 61: 1-3a
Psalm 27
Psalm 91
Psalm 103
Psalm 146
Romans 8
Romans 14: 7-12
2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
Revelation 21: 1-4
John 3: 16-17
John 11: 1-44


Suggested Hymns:

"It Is Well with My Soul"
"For Those Who Mourn"
"Trust and Obey"
"Saranam, Saranam"
"Be Still, My Soul"
"How Firm a Foundation"
"On Eagle's Wings"
"Pues Si Vivimos" ("When We Are Living")
"He’s the Lily of the Valley"
"Why Has God Forsaken Me?"
"Out of the Depths" (Psalm 130)
"His Eve Is on the Sparrow ("Why Should I Feel Discouraged?")
"Give Peace" (Da Pacem Cordium")
"Come and Fill Our Hearts" ("Confitemini Domino")
"We Are Called"
"Wounded World that Cries for Healing"
"Why Stand So Far Away, My God"
"Unsettled World"
"For One Great Peace"
"Song of Hope" ("Canto de Esperanza")
"Eternal Father, Strong to Save"
"In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful"
"O Lord, Hear My Prayer"
"Joy Comes with the Dawn"
"Healer of Our Every Ill"
"Come Now, O Prince of Peace"

 

Other Resource Links: