Tomorrow is Independence Day and its propers will replace those for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity. on pages xlii and xliii of the American Book of Common Prayer you will find the psalms and lessons for Morning and Evening Prayer. Strangely, it does not rate a first evensong. That may be because it is not entirely a feast of the Church although the Church does give it great importance as well it should.
Why? Because the American struggle for independence, for liberty was a struggle born from the very teaching of the prayer book tradition itself just as the revolt against King John which led to the Magna Carta was likewise a struggle born in the Gospel's vision for all men. Most of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and who wrote the Constitution of the United States were Churchmen. Consequently it is no wonder that the ideals upon which this nation was founded and built sprang straight from the Old Testament and the New.
As we celebrate our independence tomorrow appropriately in attendance at Morning Prayer and Holy Communion let us remember all those who have given their lives both to make and keep us free. And let us also renew our faith in the Faith which inspired them, the faith which every day reminded them that there is a God in "whose service is perfect freedom."