A Day to Remember

by gary-foote on May 31, 2010

Americans have been celebrating Memorial Day for a very long time. The first Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30, 1868 to honor soldiers who had fought in the Civil War.

Every year when Memorial Day comes around, I always think about the wonderful men and women who gave their lives in order to secure our freedoms as Americans. The word “Memorial” closely relates to the word “Memory.” What is it about these men and women that is most important to remember? Is it their service to our country? Is it the sacrifice they made when they breathed their last breath? Is it their legacy of family and loved ones who are left behind? All of these things (and probably many more) are important for us to reflect upon on this special day devoted to Memorial.

The tradition of honoring someone for his act of service, sacrifice, and legacy goes back much further in time than 1868.  “Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me’ (Luke 22:19). Every time the Mass is celebrated, we remember all that Jesus Christ has done for us over the past 2000 years! One of the most significant prayers that the faithful pray during Mass is the Memorial Acclimation. The priest will lead the prayer by saying, “Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.” We respond with one of the 5 following responses:

1)   Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

2)   Dying, you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.

3)   When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.

4)   Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.

5)   Keep in mind that Jesus Christ has died for us and is risen from the dead. He is our saving Lord, He is joy for all ages.

As we honor the many men and women who gave so much for us, let us also remember the incredible love of our God who gave His life for us. Jesus Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and ascension bring us great hope of an eternity consumed by the love of God. As we remember our fallen soldiers, we can continually pray for them, hoping that one day we will all be united together as one family with our one God.

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