Order of Service for a Reserve Chaplain Called to Active Duty
This order is designed for use within a service of worship. If it is used separately, it should follow appropriate praise and prayer, scripture readings, and sermon.
The sign of the cross may be traced on the forehead at the place marked(+).
As a response to the Word or at some other appropriate place in a service of public worship, the pastor invites the person being called to serve as an active duty chaplain to come and stand before the congregation. Family members of the person about to be deployed may also be invited to join the chaplain. Then the pastor says these or similar words:
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we want to bless and pray for [name], who will be leaving to serve as an active duty chaplain.
Here the pastor may share briefly any particular details that set the context for this call to active duty.
The chaplain may either remain standing or kneel for the commendation and blessing. The pastor (joined by family members and members of the congregation) then lays hands on the head of the chaplain says these or similar words:
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
God utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
-Psalm 46:6-7 NRSV, adapted
[Name], we commend you to this work of shepherding men and women
in a time of danger and the dark-shadowed valley.
May the blessing of God
sustain you in service that brings healing, hope, and courage.
May the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ (+) defend you
and keep you faithful to the gospel.
May the breath of the Holy Spirit fill you
and bring you home safely.
After the commendation and blessing, the pastor may assure the chaplain of the prayers of the congregation (and of the congregation's care and support for his or her family), concluding with extemporaneous prayer or with the following:
God, our help in ages past and our hope for days to come,
we are thankful for your never-failing love.
Grant peace to the earth
and establish your justice among the nations.
Bring a swift end to the conflict the world now faces.
Care for [names of the chaplain's family members]
and make us to be compassionate friends,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
In place of this prayer or in addition to it, the pastor may use "A Prayer for Protection of Those in Military Service" or "A Prayer for Armed Services Personnel and Their Families" found elsewhere on this website, or "The Prayer of St. Francis" (UMH 481).
A hymn or song may be sung. The following are suggested:
The Faith We Sing
2191 "Eternal Father, Strong to Save"
2195 "In the Lord I'll Be Ever Thankful"
2054 "Nothing Can Trouble"
2218 "You Are Mine"
2146 "His Eye Is on the Sparrow"
2214 "Lead Me, Guide Me"
2241 "The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve"
The United Methodist Hymnal (UMH)
163 "Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know"
127 "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah"
128 "He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought"
529 "How Firm a Foundation"
117 "O God, Our Help In Ages Past"
136 "The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want"
138 "The King of Love My Shepherd Is"
507 "Through It All"
178 "Hope of the World"
581 "Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service"