Juneteenth Prayers

Prayers associated with Juneteenth.

In Celebration

We pray, O Lord, for change.

Jesus you revealed God through your wise words and loving deeds,

and we encounter you still today in the faces of those whom society has pushed to the margins.

Guide us, through the love you revealed,

to establish the justice you proclaimed,

that all peoples might dwell in harmony and peace,

united by that one love that binds us to each other, and to you.

And most of all, Lord, change our routine worship and work into genuine encounter with you and our better selves so that our lives will be changed for the good of all.

- adapted from Racial Healing and Liturgical Resources by the Archdiocese of Baltimore

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On This Day of Freedom

God of all peoples, of all nations,
On this day of freedom, we celebrate triumphantly with all people of goodwill that we might walk arm in arm towards justice for all.

Breathe into us your eternal breath, that we may never tire of ensuring a flourishing life for all people, but most especially, those brothers and sisters whose growth has been stifled by the trauma of being enslaved.

O God, we know and have seen your goodness, and because of it, we cling to the hope that unity and liberation for all are within our grasp. Continue to show us your goodness, that we may have the strength to advance your kingdom with humility and grace.

- Catholic Health Association

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A Commemoration

Today, we commemorate the end of slavery in America.
This day partially reminds us of the progress made.
This day also partially reminds us of the progress we have not made.
We celebrate the freedom of black lives in our nation.
We grieve that we have not correctly reconciled racism in our nation.

You created each person in Your image.
The two greatest commandments call us to love You with all our heart, souls, and minds;
Then, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Your love for us motivates us to love each other.
If we do not love each other, then ultimately, we have not experienced Your love.

As much as we commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth, we grieve this day.
We mourn that our black brothers and sisters have not been loved as our neighbors.
We mourn that our black brothers and sisters have been treated less than created in Your image throughout history.
So, Lord, we confess our sins and repent.
The healing and reconciliation we desire comes from the gospel.

On Juneteenth this year, we ask You to guide our nation.
May the good news of the gospel motivate us to love each other.
May the ideals of our words match the practices of our lives.
May a fresh empowerment of Your Spirit unite us together.
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear Your will and leading.

- Peter Englert

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