Twelve spiritual exercises for use during the church calendar year.
Healing from the wounds of war can be a long, slow, and difficult process that takes place over time. Congregational spiritual exercises, activities, and rituals, practiced over the years, create a climate of healing and communicate a strong sense of solidarity with all those recovering from the wounds of war.
The following spiritual exercises, corresponding to the cycle of the church year, address the need for on-going healing and restoration. Some, like the Advent heart-cleansing ritual, are designed for families. Others facilitate individual healing. Some address the need for re-integration into church and society.
- Advent Heart-Cleansing Ritual - November or December
- New Year's Eve Gatherings - December 31
- Lenten Heart-Cleansing Ritual - February or March
(Repeat the Advent Heart-Cleansing Ritual during the Lenten season, with a special focus on those memories, regrets, and actions for which one seeks forgiveness from God, self, and others.)
- Lenten Midweek Worship Series - How to be a People of Faith in a Time of War
- Good Friday - Way of the Cross Service
- Holy Saturday Retreat for Veterans
- International Conscientious Objector Day - Sunday closest to May 15
- Memorial Day - End of May
- Veterans' Personal Memorial Days
- Independence Day - July 4
- All Saints Day or Dia de Los Muertos - First Sunday in November
- Armistice/Veterans' Day (November 11) / Armistice/Verterans' Day Sunday (second Sunday in November)
- Permission to Reproduce This Material
Healing Throughout the Year
Christian liturgy and the year-long cycle of the seasons within the church calendar contain powerful resources for hope and healing. As we live the liturgy throughout the church year, we experience continued reassurance of God’s grace and presence in our lives. We learn to trust others, to bind the wounds, to return to God, and to grow in grace. Build your family life and your worship on the dependable strength of this rhythmic cycle for the benefit of all in church and community.
About this Section
This section is Chapter 6 from the book below.
Welcome Them Home--Help Them Heal
Pastoral care and ministry with service members returning from war
John Sippola, Amy Blumenshine, Donald A. Tubesing, Valerie Yancey
Published by Whole Person Associates, Inc
Supported by a grant from Wheat Ridge Ministries.
An outreach program of Elim Lutheran Church of Blackhoof, Barnum, MN
Order the book from www.welcomethemhomebook.com