For Your Independence Day Liturgy
Inspirational works to add to your own spiritual July 4 celebration.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
God men thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry grain divine.
O Beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years.
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears.
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Third Inaugural Address (1941)
"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered deeply; finally, staked on the experiment intrusted to the hands of the American people.
If we lose that sacred fire, if we let it be smothered with doubt and fear, then we shall reject the destiny which Washington strove so valiantly and so triumphantly to establish. The preservation of the spirit and faith of the Nation does, and will, furnish the highest justification for every sacrifice that we may make in the cause of national defense.
In the face of great perils never before encountered, our strong purpose is to protect and to perpetuate the integrity of democracy. For this we muster the spirit of America, and the faith of America. We do not retreat. We are not content to stand still. As Americans, we go forward, in the service of our country, by the will of God."
"I Have a Dream" (1963)
By Martin Luther King Jr.
"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."