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A Message from the Bishop: Prayers for Juneteenth
Dear Colleagues,

I commend to you two prayers you may find helpful in both individual and corporate worship as you mark Juneteenth.

The first is the Collect for Social Justice on page 260 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

21. For Social Justice

Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The second is from a liturgy for Juneteenth developed in the Diocese of California in conjunction with the Northern California/Vivian Traylor Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE). Its author is not identified.

Almighty God, you rescued your people from slavery in Egypt, and throughout the ages you have never failed to hear the cries of the captives; We remember before you our sisters and brothers in Galveston, Texas who [on this day] received the glad tidings of their emancipation; Forgive us for the many grave sins that delayed that liberating word; Anoint us with your Spirit to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Please know that I join you in these prayers.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio