Home Order of Service for Men and Women Mobilized or Deployed

Order of Service for Men and Women Mobilized or Deployed

This order is designed for use with those who are being mobilized in the National Guard or the Reserves, or who are deployed in active service to go into combat or other engagement where they face danger and conflict.

This service is for use within a regularly scheduled service of worship. If it is used separately, it should follow appropriate praise and prayer, scripture readings, and sermon. When such a service takes place on a military base or is led by a military chaplain, the chaplain should make use of appropriate prayers and orders of service suited to all who will be involved, including those provided in The Armed Forces Hymnal.

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 those preparing to be sent out to come and stand before the congregation. Family members of those about to be deployed may also be invited to join their loved ones. Then the pastor says these or similar words:

Brothers and sisters in Christ,
today we want to bless and pray for [name(s)],
who will be leaving to serve this country in [a place of conflict].

Here the pastor or chaplain may share briefly any particular details that set the context for this call to specific military service.

Those being deployed may either remain standing or kneel for the commendation and blessing. The pastor/chaplain (joined by family members and members of the congregation) then lays hands on the head of each person and 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


2 Corinthians 5:6-10
We are always confident while we are away

1 Peter 5:6-8a, (8b-9), 10-11
Discipline yourselves, keep alert ...
God will restore, support and strengthen you.

Hebrews 12:14-15
Pursue peace with everyone ... See to it ... that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble.

Psalm 121
The LORD is your keeper ... [God] will keep your life.

[Name(s)], we commend you to God
in a time of danger and the dark-shadowed valley.
May the blessing of God
sustain you with courage and faith.
May the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ (+) defend and keep you
in the face of all temptation.
May the breath of the Holy Spirit fill you
and bring you home safely.

After the commendation and blessing, the pastor may assure those being deployed of the prayers of the congregation (and of the congregation's care and support for his/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 [name's family / names' families]
and make us to be compassionate friends,
while [he/she/they] are away from us,
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," 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"

When the service includes "Concerns and Prayers," the following form of intercessions may be included.

God says, "When, they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble." (Psalm 91:15) Let us pray to God saying, "Lord, be our companion."

As in baptism we put on Christ, so in Christ may we endure danger and separation in hope and love. Let us pray to God.
Lord, be our companion.

As God so loved the world in Christ, so may the love of God guide our actions, even in combat and war's uncertainty. Let us pray to God.
Lord, be our companion.

As God cares for the poor and innocent, so may nations engaged in conflict deflect harm from children, the vulnerable, and the wounded. Let us pray to God.
Lord, be our companion.

As Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives," so may we extend peace to our enemies without hatred. Let us pray to God.
Lord, be our companion.

As Jesus calls his church to be peacemakers, so may we look beyond this time of war to a world where weapons are converted to tools for growing food and materials for the rebuilding of homes and cities. Let us pray to God.
Lord, be our companion.

As in the new Jerusalem every tear will be wiped away and death will be no more, so may we yearn for a time we no more participate in anyone's grief or dying. Let us pray to God.
Lord, be our companion.

Then all pray, "Our Father ..."


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