Defence Sunday is an opportunity for the whole church to pray for the ministry that occurs within and to the Australian Defence Force. The Bishop to the Defence has written to the other Australian Bishops reminding them that we “place a high priority in making connections, particularly in encouraging a shared ministry of parishes with chaplains”.
“Defence Sunday” is observed annually on the Sunday prior to Remembrance Day (11 November). We use the day to:
– Draw attention to the spiritual needs and wellbeing of those who serve in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as sailors, soldiers or airmen and airwomen.
– Foster prayer support within Churches for those who serve the nation through ADF service.
– Encourage clergy to consider service as full or part-time Australian Defence Force Chaplains.
– Build bridges of cooperative partnership between the Anglican ministry to the Australian Defence Force and diocese and parish churches across Australia.
Defence Sunday is important. Whilst Remembrance Day recalls the tragedy of World War 1 and the hope for peace which came with the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the experiences of the 20ths and now the 21st Century reveal that this hope remains unfulfilled. Tragically, Australian service personnel continue to die in combat in the Middle East and the numbers of physical, psychological and spiritual causalities continue to increase. Our church has a responsibility to provide ongoing pastoral and spiritual care to serving military personnel. The greatest support that the church can provide to its chaplains engaged in this mission is prayer and understanding.
Anglican Australian Defence Force Chaplains and General Synod Defence Force Board members are available to participate in parish services as guest preachers/speakers.
DEFENCE SUNDAY RESOURCES
Notes for Preachers – Defence Sunday
This document produced by the Bishop to the Defence Force in 2015 is a useful guide for preparation for Defence Sunday.
A Prayer for Australian Defence Force Chaplains
Lord God of Hosts,
We prayer for your clergy whom you have called to the ministry of uniformed chaplaincy,
and for those who proclaim your love and compassion in battle areas and defence establishments where Australian military personnel serve.
Lord, strengthen their faith as they seek to witness to you in a secular world.
Protect them from all dangers and comfort them in the long separations from families and the familiar things of church that they must endure.
Lord who blessed the peacemakers,
bless especially those chaplains serving overseas,
helping to bring peace to the nations new and old which are struggling to find their identity and place in the world.
We ask in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever.
Prayers for the Navy, Army and Air Force can be found here.
The Anglican Defence Prayer Diary can be downloaded here.
How Can I Organise A Guest Speaker For My Church?
You can organise a guest speaker by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Related Articles/Information
What are Chaplains? Chaplains are missionaries serving in and supporting the Defence Force. Read more here.
Why are not all clergy suited to be Defence Force Chaplains? Find out here.
Help for participating in a Remembrance Day Commemoration can be found here. We include some suggested orders of service for various situations, prayers and bible readings.