House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church

July 4th Collects

Byron Rushing

From House of Deputies Vice President Byron Rushing:

Let me take this opportunity to remind Episcopalians in the United States that many of us do not consider the words–“the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us”–in the Independence Day collect (BCP, p.242 or p.190) to be accurate. Look around your congregations and reflect if all the ancestors of the “us” got their liberty when this nation was founded.

A better and approved Book of Common Prayer collect for the 4th is “For the Nation” (p.258 or 207):

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace:

Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Canadians’ Canada Day collect (July 1) also works for us in the USA and in all the other countries in which The Episcopal Church is:

Almighty God,

whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation.

Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


And finally, what does it mean that we in The Episcopal Church with 12 dioceses outside the United States have a BCP which makes no provision for the commemoration of the independence days of those nations?