Sunday, August 06, 2006

August Sixth: In Remembrance

Litany for Hiroshima Day of Remembrance
August 6, 2006

At 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped from a USA B-29 bomber on Hiroshima, Japan. More than one hundred seventy thousand people died instantly or within hours. Few were soldiers. This litany of confession brings that tragedy before God once again. It expresses both lament and longing—a longing for peace.

One: Infinite and Eternal God, who created the universe and pronounced it good, we often take the good and turn it into deeds that take, kill, and maim life in your universe. For being complicit
and sometimes intentional in destroying what you have created and for killing living beings,
Many: Forgive us, O God.

One: For being a nation that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent children, women and men,
Many: Forgive us, O God.

One: For stockpiling enough nuclear weapons to destroy the earth many times over,
Many: Forgive us, O God.

One: For the Hibakusha, the survivors of the destruction of the Atomic Bombs in Japan, in Micronesia, and in New Mexico, and for those who survived the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl,
Many: We pray to you, O God.

One: For our nation that we will disarm as we compel other nations to disarm,
Many: We pray to you, O God.

One: God of Justice and Peace, we know you as a forgiving God and a loving God. Enable us to be a forgiving and a loving people, doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with you.
Many: We pray to you. O God. Amen.

Photo: After placing wreath, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold prays on October 23 at Hiroshima memorial with Japan's primate, Joseph Uno.(ENS photo by Bob Williams )
Litany: This litany was prepared by retired UCC minister Rev. David Hirano. David was the former Executive Minister for the Board for World Ministries, today Wider Church Ministries. He resides in Hawaii. Copyright 2006, Local Church Ministries, Worship and Education Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, Cleveland. Permission is granted to reproduce or adapt for use in services of worship or church education.
All publishing rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

This was once called the Feast of the Transfiguration. I suppose the politically correct types prefer to remember the dropping of the bomb which ended WWII as preferable to a feast related to the exaltation of Jesus with the power of God.


It's still the Feast of the Transfiguration in my Prayer Book (the litany comes from a UCC source and frankly I'm not sure what their liturgical calendar looks like.)

And for the record, I really dislike dismissive terms like "politically correct" designed to relegate a differing perspective to a "less than" status. Rather than "politically correct" I'd prefer to think of it as "Gospel obedient."

Theologically I suggest the litany as presented is an apt prayer for the feast related to the exaltation of the Jesus who came as the Prince of Peace and to remind us that it is only through the power of God that we can hope to end the war, violence and destruction that seems to grow more rather than less prevalent in this broken world of ours.

Renee in Ohio said...

Shortly after September 11, I asked Demetrius to create a world peace candle graphic. I'd almost forgotten about it, until I got a few new e-mails from people who were using it on their web sites. You can read more here, and of course you're still welcome to download the candle if you like.