I looked up the information for celebrating the office today with the St. Helena Breviary. It was listed as a feria (a day without special observance). But I wanted to remember those who have died over the years for our country — to celebrate Memorial Day. It looked like I had two options for that. I could celebrate this as a National Day (which it is). Or I could celebrate it as an office for the Departed. I choose the second option (recognizing that this might not fully fall within the intent) and ended up glad that I did. The first reading for Matins was the “dry bones” reading, where the prophet (perhaps even literally) stands among the scattered, desiccated bones of an old battlefield. Can these bones live? It seemed somehow appropriate for veterans. And although the focus of the office was new life in Christ, that didn’t seem inappropriate to me — even for those who died who were not Christian. I do want to honor their beliefs. But at the same time, I’m sure of God’s love for them, and God’s desire to bring them home. So thank you, veterans, whatever your religious beliefs. I trust that God has seen you home, and I wish you fulness of life.
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