Hope, Resilience, & Freedom: Commemorating Juneteenth


A Prayer for Juneteenth: “A Commemoration”

With gratitude, we present a prayer by Peter Englert, which can be found on Xavier University’s website.

Today, we commemorate the end of slavery in America.

This day partially reminds us of the progress made.

This day also partially reminds us of the progress we have not made.

We celebrate the freedom of black lives in our nation.

We grieve that we have not correctly reconciled racism in our nation.

You created each person in Your image.

The two greatest commandments call us to love You with all

our heart, souls, and minds;

Then, to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Your love for us motivates us to love each other.

If we do not love each other, then ultimately,

we have not experienced Your love.

As much as we commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth,

we grieve this day.

We mourn that our black brothers and sisters

have not been loved as our neighbors.

We mourn that our black brothers and sisters have been treated less than created in Your image throughout history.

So, Lord, we confess our sins and repent.

The healing and reconciliation we desire comes from the gospel.

On Juneteenth this year, we ask You to guide our nation.

May the good news of the gospel motivate us to love each other.

May the ideals of our words match the practices of our lives.

May a fresh empowerment of Your Spirit unite us together.

Give us eyes to see and ears to hear Your will and leading.


Further Resources

Dr. Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, professor and therapist, presents a webinar about the promise of conversion, healing, and resurrection for a church and society still caught in the crucible of racism through the application of spiritual practices and Ignatian spirituality.

You can learn more about the realities of racial disparities at every stage of the criminal justice system through the research of Prison Policy Initiative. The briefing is entitled, Visualizing the racial disparities in mass incarceration, and it presents the facts about racial disparities in policing, pretrial detention, sentencing, juvenile justice, prisons, jails, and reentry.

Finally, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian) tells the story of the origins and legacy of Juneteenth, “our country’s second independence day,” in riveting detail on their website.


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