Defence Sunday 8 November
Defence Sunday is an opportunity for the whole church to pray for the ministry that occurs within and to the Australian Defence Force.
“Defence Sunday” is observed annually on the Sunday prior to Remembrance Day (11 November). We use the day to:
– Draw attention to the spiritual needs and wellbeing of those who serve in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as sailors, soldiers or airmen and airwomen. – Foster prayer support within Churches for those who serve the nation through ADF service. – Encourage clergy to consider service as full or part-time Australian Defence Force Chaplains. – Build bridges of cooperative partnership between the Anglican ministry to the Australian Defence Force and diocese and parish churches across Australia.
Defence Sunday is important. Whilst Remembrance Day recalls the tragedy of World War 1 and the hope for peace which came with the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the experiences of the 20th and now the 21st Century reveal that this hope remains unfulfilled. Tragically, Australian service personnel continue to die in combat in the Middle East and the numbers of physical, psychological and spiritual causalities continue to increase. Our church has a responsibility to provide ongoing pastoral and spiritual care to serving military personnel. The greatest support that the church can provide to its chaplains engaged in this mission is prayer and understanding.
O God, our ruler and guide, In whose hands are the destinies of this and every nation, We give you thanks for the freedoms we enjoy in this land And for those who laid down their lives to defend them: We pray that we and all the people of Australia, Gratefully remembering their courage and their sacrifice, May have the grace to live in a spirit of justice, of generosity, and of peace; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.