9/11 Anniversary Rituals

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9/3/2002 12:59 PM
1 out of 39

How will you observe the anniversary of September 11? Have you written a special prayer to commemorate the day? Share it with readers here.

9/3/2002 1:50 PM
2 out of 39

In our church we are gathering at 8:46 a.m., the moment when the first plane struck. After keeping silence, we will sing the Kontakion, a traditional Russian funeral hymn:

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints:
where sorrow and pain are no more,
neither sighing, but life everlasting.
You only are immortal, our creator and maker:
and we are mortal formed from the dust of the earth,
and to the earth we shall return:
for so you did ordain,
when you created us saying:
"You are dust and to dust you will return."
All of us go down to the dust;
and weeping at the grave creates the song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

The church bells will toll once for each person who died in the attacks (which will take all day). Their names will be placed in a book in the church and each person will be remembered in prayer throughout the day. The sacrament will be kept on view in the church all day to remind those who come to pray that God is always present with us.

In the evening we will celebrate a funeral Eucharist, which has as its central theme God's assurance that for those who died on 9/11 life was changed, not ended. At the same time, the continuing relationship of God with those still living is made clear, as he touches us with love and we know that he stands with us in our grief.

9/3/2002 3:33 PM
3 out of 39

Having spent the better part of the year dealing with the deep and dark emotions that we humans hate dealing with, and having done my mourning at Samhain last year, I feel that now is the time to turn the corner from our grief, into the sunshine of life.

For the anniversary, which is only two days before my birthday btw, I plan to have a ritual "lightening" in which I will light candles all throughout my ritual space and give thanks for all of the lives that were spared, those who were rescued, and those who were safe from danger because one plane-load of people took it upon themselves to save those they would never know. Its time to let go of those who passed over and let them continue their journey, and I will devote some of my time to that as well.

In my faith, we are approaching the time of giving thanks for the bounty we have been given this year, as well as the honoring of our dead at Samhain. I wish to commemorate this anniversary, not with the sadness that has pervaded this year, but with joy that life will bring those lost loved ones back to us, and the practice of peace, that we might bring peace to the world around us.

9/4/2002 1:10 PM
4 out of 39

I will pray, asking comfort and guidance for those whose loved-ones were lost on 9/11. I will pray that those whose faith was tested or diminished be strengthened, if only to realize that excesses of patriotism characterize a jingoism that does not honor God nor admit to His overwhelming power. I will pray that those who see evil try to do something about it rather than sit on the sidelines bemoaning evil in the world but doing nothing much else.
I will pray that our country come to its senses...that countless others in the world, for centuries, have experienced evil on levels exceeding 9/11, that we least not forget that more lives were lost in the Civil War, lives lost and souls tortured during the civil rights struggles in the South, lives lost and families destroyed by the Vietnam War, pray that a false sense of security give way to a better understanding that in the course of history, we indeed have been fortunate NOT to have experienced more and greater tragedies, that we get over the feeling that America is something "more special" than other parts of the world..pray that a true sense of humility before God triumph over the feeling that somehow, God "let us down" by taking so many lives..pray that we come to a greater faith that much cannot be understood thru human reason, save for there being a God, however understood by the various faiths, who can be questioned for greater understanding, but NOT denied, no matter the events we find troublesome.

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