Please join us at General Washington’s church on our country’s birthday to celebrate and pray for our nation. We will sing a selection of national hymns from the hymnal, hear the Declaration of Independence read, and celebrate the Eucharist together. Independence Day Worship will start at 12:05 p.m., Thursday, July 4.

Did you know that the first form of service with prayers and selected Bible passages to celebrate Independence Day were adopted in 1785? Included in that resolution was the direction: “That the said form of prayer be used in this Church, on the fourth of July, for ever.” As the proposed Book of Common Prayer for use in the American church was in trial use, there was much consternation about its inclusion, due to the large percentage of loyalist clergy. In the end, it was not included in the first American Book of Common Prayer in 1789, but the form of service was preserved, reprinted, and used on occasion in the nineteenth century. Propers (specific prayers and selected Bible passages) were included in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer as an optional (votive) service. In the current revision of the prayer book, the 1979 edition, Independence Day is listed as a major feast. (Thanks to Marion J. Hatchett, Commentary of the American Prayer Book for background information.)

George Washington's Bible will be on display here on July 4 and at all services on Sunday, July 7.