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Today in church, our musical program was both patriotic and had a theme of rememberance and forgiveness.

We started with America the Beautiful:

O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness. America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life. America! America! May God thy gold refine Till all success be nobleness, And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears. America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.

(Words by Katherine Lee Bates, music by Samuel A. Ward.)

The readings all related to forgiveness.
First reading: Sirach 27:30-28:7
Second reading: Romans 14:7-9
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35

(I'd transcribe the readings, but it would take hours and I'm lazy.)

Our offertory hymn was Be Not Afraid:

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst. You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way. You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand. You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow me and I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown. If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed. If you stand before the power of hell and death is at your side, know that I am with you through it all.

Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow me and I will give you rest.

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs. Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh. And if wicked tongues insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow me and I will give you rest.

(Words and music by Bob Dufford, SJ)

Our communion hymn was In Remembrance:

In remembrance of me, eat this bread. In remembrance of me, drink this wine. In remembrance of me, pray for the time when God's own will is done.

In remembrance of me, heal the sick. In remembrance of me, feed the poor. In remembrance of me, open the door and let your brother in, let him in.

Take, eat, and be comforted; drink and remember too that this is my body and precious blood shed for you, shed for you.

In remembrance of me, search for truth. In remembrance of me, always love. In remembrance of me, don't look above but in your heart, look in your heart for God. Do this in remembrance of me. Do this in remembrance of me. In remembrance of me.

(Words and music by Buryl Red and Ragan Courtney)

At the last minute, I requested that if we have time, we sing Let There Be Peace On Earth:

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God as our father, we are family; let us walk with each other in perfect harmony. Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow: to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

(Words and music by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson)

We ended with God Bless America:

God bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her Through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans, white with foam God bless America, My home sweet home; God bless America, My home sweet home.

(Words and music by Irving Berlin)

I'm glad that we got to put in Let There Be Peace On Earth.  A fellow choir member mentioned that it was a fitting hymn; I told her that
I feel it's important to remember the need for peace on this day of remembrance.
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