Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Memorial Day Prayers

Here are two prayers for Memorial Day. One is a yizkor prayer for soldiers. The other, titled “The Last Soldier,” is a prayer for peace that honors the soldier’s journey. They appear in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen along to each prayer, click on the triangle in the bars below. The text of each prayer follows.

Yizkor for a Soldier
I say this prayer in memory of Tom Christiansen z”l, my grade-school swimming coach, who gave his life in Vietnam. Thanks to the men and women who died protecting both of the lands that I love: the U.S. Military and the Israel Defense Forces.

G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To ______________________ [name],
My [father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend]
Who died in service to our country during the
_________________________________________________ [name of war or conflict].
May his / her dedication serve as a shining lamp of courage and love.
May his / her memory be sanctified with joy and love.

Bless the souls of all who have died in the name of liberty and democracy,
Soldiers and veterans,
Civilians and professionals,
Men and women who answered the call of honor and duty.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

The Last Soldier

When the last soldier passes on,
When armies are disbanded and militias discharged,
When weapons are abandoned and armor discarded,
Your mission will, at last, be over.

For you know the soldier’s secret.
Yours was not a mission of war
Nor a mission of ruin.
Yours was not a mission of destruction
Nor a mission of death.
Your mission was safety, security, protection.
Your mission was honor, loyalty, service.
Your mission was to end violence, tyranny, despair.

When the last soldier passes on,
When the uniforms are retired and the final grave filled,
We will remember all who served and sacrificed for our nation.

Until then G-d of Old,
Watch over our soldiers and our veterans.
Renew their courage.
Rebuild their strength.
Heal their wounds.
Bind their hearts with Your steadfast love.
Remember them,
Bless them,
Sustain them,
And give them peace.

“Yizkor for a Soldier” and “The Last Soldier” are © 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Postscript: See also Here’s a link to more yizkor and memorial prayers.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs

Thank You for Your Support
Your contribution helps support the creation of new prayers available to all on this site.

2 Responses to “Memorial Day Prayers”

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS