Tomorrow, on June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth. Within the African American community, Juneteenth is known as a second “Independence Day”. It is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African American slaves throughout the Confederate South. This was more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. With continued racism in our country, it’s especially important to recognize this day of freedom and continue to pray for change.
We pray, O Lord, for change.
Jesus you revealed God through your wise words and loving deeds,
and we encounter you still today in the faces of those whom society has pushed to the margins.
Guide us, through the love you revealed,
to establish the justice you proclaimed,
that all peoples might dwell in harmony and peace,
united by that one love that binds us to each other, and to you.
And most of all, Lord, change our routine worship and work into genuine encounter with you and our better selves so that our lives will be changed for the good of all.
Prayer adapted from Racial Healing and Liturgical Resources