Commemorating September 11: Christian

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Christian Prayers & Litanies
General Christian hymns and litanies, plus specific prayers and readings from Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Episcopal churches.
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Litany of Remembrance, Penitance and Hope

One: When we remember the stockbrokers, office workers, maintenance workers, bystanders, window-washers and all the others who worked together so valiantly to help each other, we can say together:

All: We remember great courage.

One: When we recall the firefighters who rushed upstairs as most everyone else was racing out, we can say together,

All: We remember selfless service.

One: When we recall the police officers who stood to protect and defend the people and performed their duties until the towers came crashing down on top of them, we can say together,

All: We remember selfless sacrifice for the safety of others.

One: When we recall the thousands of workers, women and men and, old and young, single and married, American-born and those born in countries around the world who did not escape the buildings, we can say together,

All: We remember the loss of human life.

One: When we recall those citizens who rushed to help, did all they could to help, we can say together,

All: We remember and give thanks for dutiful commitment to those in distress.

One: When we recall the people who stood in line at the nation's blood banks to make living donations from their very bodies, we can say together,

All: We give thanks for those who live on to pass on life and love.

One: When we remember the millions of Americans who gave so generously of their life and labor to endow funds to help the survivors and their families recover from their losses, we can say together,

All: We are grateful for generosity.

Remembrance begins with deep, personal identification. It begins with remembering the affliction of our brothers and sisters, and marking their pain as our own. Remembrance is a sacred moment when we raise up and hold to the light of the eternal moment, the good who have passed.

We light a candle, in penitence, recognizing that we have not done enough to address the sources of anger, hate, dehumanization, rage and indignation that lead to acts of violence.


One: In our sadness, horror and shock we acknowledge that our own fears turned murderous and we have sought revenge, sometimes against even the innocent.

All: We confess and regret our own anger and recognize its dangers to our spirits, our health, our community, and others.

One: In the midst of the aftermath of the events of September 11th, 2001 we have been tempted to seek only our own good, hear only our own truth, acknowledge only our own suffering.

All: We know that peace will come to us and to our children only when the concerns of justice anywhere become the subject of political and social will everywhere, and that no justice leads to no peace.

One: In striving for national security and domestic peace we run the risk of confusing might for right and participating in the very behaviors we condemn.

All: Guard and guide our country that in our search for security we may not trample the rights of the innocent nor disregard the rule of law. Let us not confuse leadership within the global community as the voice for the whole community.

Repentance means to turn away from wrong deeds. Repentance means choosing instead deeds which require moral restraint, and are more beneficial to all persons who suffer.

We light a candle to light the way to a better world for our children and our children's children, and all the children of God.


One: We recall with joy the unity we felt in the outpouring of help, kindness, thoughtful words and deeds from at home and around the world.

All: We must hold firmly to our unity, borne forward now not of tragedy but of loving kindness.

One: We place fresh confidence in international organizations and conversations that bring the diverse gifts of the world to the problems of poverty, injustice, terror and strife.

All: We long for wise policies that forego short term gain for long term stability, justice and peace.

One: In a year filled with tragedy we dare to hope for an era yet to come in which the slaughter of innocents, greed, the ambitions of power, and cultural, racial and religious bigotries are but memories of a dim and unenlightened past.

Unison Prayer:

God of the ages, before your eyes all empires rise and fall yet you are changeless. Be near us in this age of terror and in these moments of remembrance. Uphold those who work and watch and wait and weep and love. By your Spirit give rise in us to broad sympathy for all the peoples of your earth. Strengthen us to comfort those who mourn and work in large ways and small for those things that make for peace. Bless the people and leaders of this nation and all nations so that warfare, like slavery before it, maybecome only a historic memory. We pray in the strong name of the Prince of Peace. Amen.

--Liturgy by Rev. Eileen W. Lindner and Rev. Marcel A. Welty, National Council of Churches. For more on September 11 remembrance from the National Council of Churches, see the NCC website.


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Christian Prayers & Litanies
General Christian hymns and litanies, plus specific prayers and readings from Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Episcopal churches.
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Episcopal Prayer

God the compassionate one, whose loving care extends to all the world, we remember this day your children of many nations and many faiths whose lives were cut short by the fierce flames of anger and hatred. Console those who continue to suffer and grieve, and give them comfort and hope as they look to the future. Out of what we have endured, give us the grace to examine our relationships with those who perceive us as the enemy, and show our leaders the way to use our power to serve the good of all for the healing of the nations. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord who, in reconciling love, was lifted up from the earth that he might draw all things to himself. Amen.

--Prepared by The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church, USA, for September 11 anniversary observances.


Selected Greek Orthodox Prayers

To be said during the Divine Liturgy:
Again we pray for the families of the victims of the terrorist attack ofSeptember 11th, that they may be granted help and strength from above, andfor those wounded by this unjust attack, for their salvation and completerestoration to health.

*****


To be said during during the Memorial Service:
Again we pray for the blessed memory and eternal repose of the souls of theinnocent victims of the barbaric attack of September 11th, of those whounjustly lost their lives and of those who heroically fell in the line ofduty attempting to help these victims.

--Provided by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For more about Greek Orthodox September 11 memorials, visit the archdiocese's September 11 Memorial website.


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Christian Prayers & Litanies
General Christian hymns and litanies, plus specific prayers and readings from Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Episcopal churches.
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Prayers for Children and Family

A Prayer for Victims and Those Who Miss Them
Merciful God, be with us and all the people of the world as we rememberthose who died last year because of the attacks. We remember their livesand give thanks for the time that they lived among us and we pray that youwill comfort their families and friends who miss them so much. Amen.

*****


A Prayer for Rescue Workers and All Helpers
God, we thank you for all the kind and brave people who worked so hard tohelp others after the attacks. Thank you for police officers, firefighters, construction workers, medical workers and all the other people whogave their time to help others during the last year. Bless them and help usalways to remember to help each other every day. Amen.

*****


A Prayer for Those Who Have Hurt Us
O God, it is so hard to pray for people who have hurt us. Open our heartsand spirits so that we can see that people who hurt us are people who arehurting in their own way. We pray that you will send your healing power tothem and to us, and keep us all from hatred and cruelty so that we may learnto live together. Amen.

*****


A Prayer for Peace
Almighty God, we pray for peace in the world. Help the leaders of all thecountries to make good decisions. Help us all to learn to live together andto try to understand each other even though we may seem very different fromeach other. Remind us when we forget, that we are all your children whoshare this earthly home. Help us to live in peace and harmony. Amen.

--Prayers written by Rev. Patricia Mitchell and provided by St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City. For more information on September 11 anniversary programs at St. Bart's, visit the church's website.

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Christian Prayers & Litanies
General Christian hymns and litanies, plus specific prayers and readings from Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Episcopal churches.
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Catholic Prayer: Prayer For Peace
in The Face Of Tragedy


Shield of the fearful,
Source of hope,
as we mourn the sudden violence
and the deaths of our brothers and sisters,
show us the immense power of your goodness
and strengthen our faith.
Come swiftly to our aid,
and have mercy on all who call on you.
Comfort those who mourn this day
and gather the dead in your mercy.
Bring to us at last the peace
you promise in Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

--From the longer service "Prayer for Peace in the Face of Tragedy," Archdiocese of Chicago.
Catholic Prayer: Prayer for Peace,
Pledge for Tomorrow


Loving God, help us to realize that true peacemaking can only become a reality in our world today if it is first a matter in our hearts. September 11 reminded us that our country has been blessed with tremendous resources that we must use wisely in the service of others, both within our own borders and around the world.

We ask for the gifts of civility and charity so that we can treat others with respect and love.

We ask for the gifts of faith and hope to strengthen our spirits by placing our trust in You rather than ourselves.

We ask for the gifts of courage and compassion that will move us into action to help those in need in the United States as well as throughout the world.We ask for the gifts of humility and kindness so that we may put the needs and interests of others ahead of our own.

We ask for the gifts of patience and perseverance to endure the long struggle for justice.

We ask for all of this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

--From a longer prayer service by the National Catholic Educational Association.
Catholic Prayers of Intercession


For those who perished last September 11th, at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in the fields of Pennsylvania:
that they experience eternal life with God in heaven, we pray:
O God, hear us.

For those who grieve:
for wives and husbands, parents, family and friends, that hearts saddened by the loss of loved ones might be strengthened with courage, and come to know the promise of new life, we pray:
O God, hear us.

For the children:
for those left without a parent, and for the children who witnessed the attacks: that they might flourish in the embrace of loving hearts, and the promise of life well lived, we pray:
O God, hear us.

For all those who have helped:
for firefighters, police personnel, emergency service workers, for medics and counselors, for all who volunteered, that they experience the reward of generous service in a time of peril, we pray:
O God, hear us.

For the grace to forgive:
that our hearts be large enough to forgive those people who struck our nation in such dreadful ways, we pray:
O God, hear us.

For world leaders and the governments of nations:
that they will put aside all petty concerns and work together, ensuring justice and peace for all women, we pray:
O God, hear us.

For a future of freedom and peace:
for courage, wisdom and strength of heart to live every day in hope for a peaceful world, grounded in the knowledge of God's love and care for each of us, we pray:
O God, hear us.

--From Evening Prayer for 9/11, a longer liturgy by Oregon Catholic Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

See also: "Walking the Nine Days to 9/11," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' comprehensive resource for families and parishes.


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Christian Prayers & Litanies
General Christian hymns and litanies, plus specific prayers and readings from Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Episcopal churches.
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Hymn: God, We've Known Such Grief and Anger

God, we've known such grief and anger
As we've heard your people cry.
We have asked you, "How much longer?"
We have sadly wondered, "Why?"
In this world of so much suffering,
May we hear your word anew:
"I will never leave you orphaned;
I will not abandon you."

By your grace comes resurrection;
By your love, you cast out fear.
You give strength and sure direction
As we seek to serve you here.
You give comfort to the grieving,
And you bless the ones who mourn.
May we trust in you, believing
Out of chaos, hope is born.

Hope is ours for, God, you love us!
You have claimed us by your grace.
And through Jesus, you have called us
To bring hope to every place.
In each rescue worker's caring,
In each faithful volunteer,
In each Christian's love and sharing,
God, we glimpse your kingdom here.

Tune: IN BABILONE 8.7.8.7 D ("There's a Wideness in God's Mercy"), Dutch melody, arranged by Julius Rontgen (1855-1933) Hymn tune is in the public domain. Biblical References: John 14:18; I John 4:18; Matthew 5:11, 28:16-20; and John 17:18.

--Text by by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette Copyright c 2002, all rights reserved. This hymn was commissioned by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for the congregational resource Out of the Depths: Voices of the Presbyterian Faith Community at Work After September 11, an anniversary publication.

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Christian Prayers & Litanies
General Christian hymns and litanies, plus specific prayers and readings from Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Episcopal churches.
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Litany of Remembrance

Leader: On September 11, 2001, our lives were changed. Loss came into our world in a shocking and tragic way - loss of innocence as a nation, loss of security in our communities, loss of lives and livelihood for so many individuals. We shall never be the same after that black day. And yet we have survived. We are marked and scarred and still find need for healing, but we have survived to see September 11, 2002. For this, we can give thanks to the God who provides all good things for our being as individuals and as a nation. Therefore let us mark this day with prayers of remembrance, prayers of healing, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers for guidance as we go forward in our lives together.

Lord of the nations, God of our strength, the images of the tragedy of September 11 are still so vivid in our minds and in our senses. What we saw, how we felt, and what we said is still so very present for us. Yet with a gentle and caring hand, you have lifted us from the depths of despair and guided us to this time of remembrance one year later.

Congregation: With truly grateful hearts, we thank you, O Lord.

L: You have given us strength beyond our expectation to meet the challenges of living in our post-9/11 world.

C: With truly grateful hearts, we thank you, O Lord.

L: You have touched us with your healing power and dulled the pain that may never go away by giving us hope again, when at first we felt so hopeless.

C: With truly grateful hearts, we thank you, O Lord.

L: As we look back, we remember the lives of those who died so tragically. We remember the heroism of firefighters, police, nurses, doctors, clergy and so many ordinary citizens who gave of themselves for others--and continued to do so throughout the year.

C: We remember with thanksgiving, O Lord.

L: We remember those who stepped forward so swiftly to fight the good fight on our behalf against the evils of terror, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

C: We remember with thanksgiving, O Lord.

L: We remember the courageous leadership of the heads of our government, standing with us in our sorrow and lending aid, guidance and decisive action to help us move forward.

C: We remember with thanksgiving, O Lord.

L: As we look forward, O God, we realize the stark reality that terror still affects our daily lives. Help us in our fearfulness to place our hope and our trust in you.

C: Lord, hear our prayer.

L: Guide and inspire us and our leaders to make wise decisions for our future, for our homeland, and for our people. Keep us from self-righteousness, arrogant pride and prejudice. Unite us to champion justice, peace and freedom.

C: Lord, hear our prayer.

L: You alone know what hurts remain among us. Send us your healing Spirit. Comfort those who mourn. Bring us all to the fullness of health and joy that comes from your love.

C: Lord, hear our prayer.

L: God of all creation, Author of all good, faithful Provider of all our needs, to you we give our praises, our prayers and our thanksgivings on this day of remembrance. All honor and glory be yours, O God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), now and forever.

C: Amen.

--Litany by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. For more worship materials from Rev. Weitzel, visit his website.

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