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Observed on the Third Sunday of May (to correspond with Aldersgate Day, May 24), this day calls The United Methodist Church to honor its heritage by committing itself to the continuing call of God known and spread by Charles and John Wesley, along with others the early Methodist movement reached and with whose denominations we are all joined as The United Methodist Church.

Suggested Hymns from UMH

938 Hymns listed under Church Anniversaries

363 And Can It Be That I Should Gain
342 Where Shall My Wondering Soul Begin*

* Read as poetry or sing to the tune ST. PETERSBURG (UMH 153).


Almighty God, you have raised up servants
to proclaim the gift of redemption and a life of holiness.
For our spiritual forebears,
Susanna, John, and Charles Wesley;
Barbara Heck, Jacob Albright,
Philip William Otterbein, and Martin Boehm,
inspired by your Spirit, we give thanks.

In their ministry, through their difficulties,
and in spite of their weaknesses,
you were their hope and their salvation.
You led them and their followers to create the heritage that is ours.

We praise you for the women and men, young and old,
who followed them,
who gave themselves unselfishly for the welfare of the Church,
whose commitment and vision encouraged
and supported the Church.

Their talents, enthusiasm, idealism, and dedication
infused the Church with energy.
Their outstanding gifts and witness shaped our thought and life.
We praise you for these countless members of your Church,
whose names we now remember.

Silence is kept to remember the names of saints.

And we give you thanks for the place of our rich tradition
among the churches which comprise the Body of Christ.
With all your people throughout creation,
give us a new vision, new love, new wisdom,
and fresh understanding,
that we may serve you more fully;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (CHARLES YRIGOYEN, U.S.A., 20TH CENT., ALT.)

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Copyright: “Heritage Sunday,” Copyright ©1992 UMPH. Note: Introduction edited, 2013, by Discipleship Ministries to reflect subsequent General Conference action locating Heritage Sunday on the third Sunday in May, in proximity to Aldersgate Day (May 24).