The Bishop’ E-pistle: Memories of Sacrifice and Loss

My father has the sword that belonged to one of our ancestors from the Civil War. I was fascinated by it as a child (frankly, I still am), its weight and the eerie series of notches near the handle of the blade that form some sort of tally. It testifies to the reality of a long-ago war, and the sacrifices experienced by those who fought. Even as a child, I recognized at some level that my life as I knew it bore a debt to that forefather.

Out of that war came our modern observance of Memorial Day. Decorating the graves of those who had died, remembering and honoring them through story and song. A holiday dedicated to remembering loss and sacrifice on behalf of others. A Holy-Day.

Maybe that can speak to us in a new way this year. As we remember and honor those who gave their lives in military service, to take our cue that remembering loss is the key to healing from loss. To remember that sacrifice on behalf of others takes many forms, and is a holy endeavor.

Eternal Lord God, you hold all souls in life: Give to your whole Church in paradise and on earth your light and your peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served you here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into your unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, page 253.)