As the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches, it's important and appropriate to reflect on that time and our responses to it in worship, prayer, and study. It is important, especially, to remember and honor the men and women who died so tragically.
The following suggestions for a service of worship are offered, first of all, with the complexity of this moment of remembrance in mind. Prayers and other resources may be used or adapted as desired, to meet the needs and concerns of particular congregations. The various liturgical elements are, of course, suggestions only; and, as in the United Church of Christ Book of Worship, they represent options from which to pick and choose in planning a service. Second, these resources are offered in awareness that, although our concerns at this five-year anniversary will almost certainly be very different (and even conflicting), our common need, without exception, is to affirm trust in the God who alone offers lasting peace and security. Finally, this service is presented as a time of both remembrance and commitment. Whatever convictions each of us holds about the politics of war and the eradication of terrorism - and in the United Church of Christ, as in other Christian communities, we hold diverse and conflicting convictions about these things - our deepest Christian calling is always to the pursuit of peace, in whatever ways it may be effectively found. ("If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" [Romans 12:18].)