Veterans’ Day

Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares, a sculpture by Evgeniy Vuchetich in the United Nations Art Collection

Thankful For Veterans. Praying for peace.

Litany for Veterans

One: God of love, peace and justice, it is your will for the world that we may live together in peace. You have promised through the prophet Isaiah that one day the swords will be beaten into ploughshares. Yet we live in a broken world, and there are times that war seems inevitable. Let us recognize with humility and sadness the tragic loss of life that comes in war. Even so, as we gather here free from persecution, we may give thanks for those that have served with courage and honor.

Please Rise: Those that are in our presence that are either in active duty or reserve duty, and the fathers, mothers, siblings, spouses and grandparents of those that are currently serving.

All: God, we praise you for those that are willing to serve. Let all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen serve with honor, pride, and compassion. Do not let their hearts be hardened by the actions they must take. Strengthen their families. Keep them surrounded in your love and peace.

Please Rise: Those that are in our presence that have served in the military in the past.

All: God, we praise you for those that have served in the military. We thank you for those that put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety. Let us all be inspired by their self-sacrifice in service to those who needed protection.

Please Rise: Those that are in our presence who have lost a loved one in war.

All: God, we praise you for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. We ask that you comfort those that still feel the pain of their loss. Keep us mindful that you have promised to comfort those that mourn.

Please Rise: Those who have gathered in your name in safety because of the sacrifices of others.

All: God, we praise you for granting us these freedoms. Let us honor those who have served by working for peace. Let us never forget those that have served, and let us never let go of your promise of peace.

I also wrote this short Memorial Day liturgy.

A reflection for Memorial Day. Sometimes “Thank you” seems inadequate.

This litany was written by Robb McCoy. It is free to print or display for use in worship. Please attribute: “Permission to publish is granted by Robb McCoy,”  If you use this in worship, I would love for you to let me know in the comments.

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68 responses to “Veterans’ Day

  1. Pingback: Memorial Day Liturgy | The Fat Pastor

  2. Celeste

    Thank you Robb. I plan to use this for Christ United Presbyterian in Marshall MN. Won’t print but will credit

  3. Kristina Hansen

    Thank you. I’ve been looking for years for something this meaningful. Blessings on the journey. Will use at St. Paul’s UMC in Northport, NY this morning.

  4. Celeste, Thanks for reading and for using. It is very humbling to think of this being used in other congregations.

  5. Kristina, I’m glad that you found this helpful. I’ve used it in my congregations where a lot of older women had brothers or Dads that died in WWII, and I have seen them with tears in their eyes as they stood.

  6. Steven

    Hi Robb, Being retired military and planning a Veteran’s day service in a few weeks, someone sent me your litany. It is good but to be more accurate, it needs to be more inclusive. Example, Please rise for all enlisted. It should say serving; Officers are not enlisted. I was both. You also left out National Guard. They deploy too. All persons are not soldiers. A Marine would have an issue being called a soldier. Include Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and CoastGuardsMen in this order. This is the order of precedence for the Armed Forces.

  7. Steven, Thank you. Thank you for your service, and thank you for helping me with these corrections. I certainly never intended offense. I hope with these edits, the litany will be more useful to people.

  8. With your permission, we at First Baptist Church of Augusta (GA) would like to use this litany. Thank you for your consideration.

  9. We will be using this on Veteran’s Day this year in our service at Camargo United Methodist Church. Thank you!

  10. Leanne

    Thank you for your work, with permission, I would be honored to use this at the Parish of the Hills UMC’s in Wisconsin

  11. Thank you Robb. With the helpful edit suggestions made by another, I shall use and attribute to you. A question though – not all who serve are men. What are women in the air force and coast guard called?

  12. I wondered the same thing, so I did a little research. According to everything I found, there is no such distinction for gender. A few things I read made this very clear.

  13. I’m gonna use it, Robb. Thank you for this wonderful resource.

  14. Rev. Nancy Moore

    Thank you for this beautiful litany. I do plan to use this and keep it in my resource files.

  15. Rev. W.K.Rockwell

    Thank you Robb for this resource. Printed with Credit in the Summerdale Pa United Methodist Church Bulletin 11-11-12

  16. Patti Steevens

    thank you for your generousity in sharing this litany, I plan on using it on Sunday at St. Paul’s UCC
    pastor patti

  17. Marcia Meabon

    Thank you for your litany that expresses much. I too plan to use this Sunday at Emanuel UCC.

  18. Andrea Baker

    Thank you, for this litany, Robb. I am a chaplain in the Army Reserve and interim priest serving Epiphany Episcopal Church in Vacaville, CA. We plan to use the litany this Sunday.

  19. We shall use this litany with permision at Eagle Mountai United Methodist Church in Azle, TX as many in our congregation remember our commitments and sacrifices and those of our families during WW II. God bless you.

  20. I’m really honored by so many that are going to use this litany in worship. Thanks for all the kind words, and may God bless you all!

  21. Pingback: Honoring Veterans | buildingfaith

  22. Daniel Barkley

    Thank you for this litany. I like how in the end we are all standing in honor of those who are or have served. I would like to use it at Gadsden CP Church this week.

  23. Rev. Lunnett Hilliard

    Thank You. With your permission Friedens UCC in Slatington, PA will begin our time together honoring our veterans as we usually do with a small gift .and now we can properly say thanks and offer God’s blessings.

  24. I appreciate it for composing “Veterans� Day |
    The Fat Pastor”. I personallymay really be returning for alot more reading through and commenting in the
    near future. Thanks, Eliza

  25. Leah B

    Thanks, Robb. St. Peter’s U.C.C. in Washington, Missouri will use this for services on November 9-10. I know they will appreciate it!

  26. A fellow UCC colleague forwarded me to this resource. Thank you for putting it out there, Pastor Robb. We will be honored to use these words at First Congregational Church of Battle Creek, MI. (I am assuming that you are okay with that from your comments above, but please advise if not.)

    Peace be with you,

  27. Tom, I am always so honored when I hear that people will be using my work in worship. Thanks for telling me. Blessings to you.

  28. Thanks for letting me know Leah. I hope it will be a blessing to you all.

  29. Muriel Burrows

    Thank you for your wonderful Veterans Day litany. My daughter is a veteran Marine who served in Iraq, Her husband, also a Marine just returned from Afghanistan – his 6th deployment. I think my congregation will be very blessed by this prayer…Pastor Muriel Burrows

  30. Thank you, Pastor Robb. We will use this litany Sunday morning at Arlington Heights UMC in Fort Worth, TX. It is a beautiful way to honor our veterans and those they have served while honoring our God. Blessings on your ministry. Rev. Mary Spradlin

  31. Thanks Robb! This material is a blessing to me, and I hope it will be a blessing to the good folks of Ann Street UMC in Concord, NC the coming Sunday.

    Pastor Adam Love

  32. Dean Beals

    Thank you for this litany. I plan to use it this Sunday at Wesley Chapel UMC in Jacksonville, IL.

  33. Dina Lauman

    I plan to use this litany tomorrow at Garden Prairie UCC in Garden Prairie, Illinios. It is beautiful and we thank you for allowing us to share it. We will include the proper permission. God Bless!!!

  34. Stephen Bowie

    Robb, I will use this at First Presbyterian Church of Westfield, Wisconsin and First Congregational United Church of Christ in Grand Marsh, Wisconsin on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Thank you and God bless you.

    Stephen Bowie

  35. Pingback: 2013 in review: Most popular | The Fat Pastor

  36. I would like to use this for our Veteran’s appreciation Sunday, November 9, with proper credit, of course. Thank you for writing this – it’s so well done. This old army and navy veteran appreciates your fine work.

  37. Owen Peeler

    Found your Litany as a link on Textweek. Making plans to use it this Sunday. I will include your requested attribution and permission. Thank you.
    Owen Peeler, pastor Bethany UMC, West Jefferson, NC

  38. Thanks Robb for this approachable and poignant litany. It will be offered and printed with credit at Muirs Chapel United Methodist Church in Greensboro, NC on November 9, 2014.
    Laurin Allred

  39. Kimberly Allen

    Thank you, Robb for this very beautiful litany. With your permission the First UMC of Wood River will be using it in our service this week. I know the people and veterans of our congregation and community will be deeply touched. Thank you. Rev. Kimberly Allen

  40. Pastor Di

    This will be a fitting tribute to all who’ve served in three rural southern Iowa churches on November 8, 2014. Thank you so much, Robb, and God bless you.

  41. Fred Turner

    Robb, thanks for allowing use of this litany. We will be using it this Sunday in recognition of Veteran’s Day.

  42. Thank you for this liturgy that recognizes so many who are connected to veterans and reminds us all (by asking us to stand) that we owe much to those who serve. We’ll be using your liturgy at Kuna UMC (Kuna, Idaho) this year.

  43. Brenda Morris

    Thanks Robb. I plan to use this tomorrow for a group of Seniors at Wesley UMC in Stockton, Illinois. Also wondering if you have written any liturgy for The Great Thanksgiving. Seems difficult to find alternates outside of the traditional that still fits with our format in the UM Hymnal. I’d love to hear your suggestions.

  44. Thom Fowler

    Thank you for making your liturgy available. We will be using it this Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014 in the Beulah and Liberty Chapel UMC’s in Mt. Vernon, Ohio – credit will be given.
    Thom Fowler

  45. Sara Jensen

    We will be using this litany at Calvary Lutheran Church, Park Rapids, MN this Sunday. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful words.

  46. Linda

    Thank you for this thoughtful liturgy. I will be using it for Memorial Day at Aldersgate UMC in Bristol, TN. When my secretary (who’s in her 80’s) read it as she was running it off for me, it brought tears to her eyes and she came into my office to share the story of 2 of her brothers during WWll. One was a POW and the other part of the troops searching for him. The group right in front of him found the brother locked in a barn in the countryside. Amazing!

  47. Linda, The idea for this liturgy actually came after chatting with a 90+ year old woman in one of my congregations. She told me about the brothers that were killed in WWII, and I realized that she is still mourning them. She needed that moment as much as anyone.

  48. Linda

    I can hear that in your writing… good story. I was wondering if you have anything on your site for Pentecost? I haven’t figured out how to seek something, yet.

  49. Patti

    Thanks for the litany. We’ll be using it at Shepherd of the Hills UCC in Phoenix. It will mean so much to my WWII veterans who are really struggling with the 70th anniversary this year.

  50. jillmills11

    We will use this litany on Nov. 8, 2015, at New Life Presbyterian, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Thank you for sharing it.

  51. My church is not liturgical in nature but I plan to use your writings in the opening of our services the Sunday prior to Veterans’ Day. Thank you for your leadership and selflessness.

  52. Thank you for your lovely service. We will use and attribute. For the last few years we’ve named veterans who’ve served and given them flags, etc. within the service and had a prayer, but this is much more inclusive.

  53. Andy Mockridge

    Thank you, Robb, for this well-written Litany. I will be using it at St. Luke UCC, Grand Pass, MO. What I especially love about it is the emphasis on God’s call for us to always work for peace. Blessings and Peace, Andy

  54. We will use this litany on May 29, 2016, at Zion United Church of Christ of Tremont, Cleveland, Ohio. Thank you for sharing it.

  55. Sherman R. Tribble

    Thanks Robb! I will use an adapted version of this on Nov. 11, 2016 at the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, NC. Sherman

  56. thank you for sharing your gifts! Trinity UCC in Manchester MD will also use a slightly adapted version. Such a lovely and healing tribute. Sharon GD

  57. Marissa Harrison

    Thank you, yet again!!! Found this gem on textweek. This is the 3rd litany our congregation has gratefully utilized from you. “Thank you” doesn’t quite describe the gratitude I have knowing there are meaningful, thoughtful, Christ-centered resources available for these occasions. But thank you anyway 🙂

  58. Brenda Morris

    Hi again Robb. I found this service once again and once again I love it and will be using it for worship this time at Dakota UMC in Dakota, IL.(new appointment) Thanks for sharing. Brenda Morris

  59. Sara McSwords

    Hi – I believe I will be using this two small churches in Union County Ohio – Thank you for sharing. God bless your ministry. – Sara McSwords

  60. Nancy Didway

    Thank you for this prayer. Using in Presbyterian (PCUSA) church as part of 100 year commemoration prayer.

  61. Pastor Emily

    Thank you Robb for sharing this litany. We plan to use it Sunday in Falls Creek PA and Brockway PA (Sugar Hill).

  62. Eileen Thomas

    Thank you for the litany. I love it and plan to use it this year at Olivet AME Church- South Bend In.(giving you credit) Blessing to you and thanks for sharing!

  63. Lamarla Cook

    Thank you Robb! I found this Veteran liturgy on Textweek that you eloquently and respectfully penned. I will be using it during worship tomorrow.
    Much gratitude. Lamarla Cook, serving at Newcastle UMC, Newcastle, OK

  64. This is moving. We will use this at New Liberty UMC in Braselton, GA. Thank you! Josh McDaniel

  65. Arapahoe Fumc

    This is the best Memorial day litany I have seen. I plan to use it at the Beaver City/Arapahoe FUMC in Nebraska. Thank you!

  66. marygilesedes

    Thank you, Robb. I only recently stumbled across your writings and am really enjoying them – and you! Will be using your Veterans Day liturgy tomorrow in Chocorua, NH and will give you credit for your good work. Thanks again …
    Rev. Mary Edes

  67. We will use this at All Saints Anglican Church in Burnaby, BC, Canada tomorrow at our Remembrance Sunday service.
    Thank you and God bless. The Rev. Justin Cheng

  68. Robb, I would like to use this in worship this Sunday, 11/14/21. However, I will be changing the following if that is acceptable.:
    FROM: Let all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen serve with honor, pride, and compassion
    TO: Let all Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard personnel serve with honor, pride, and compassion.

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