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Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Fathers' Day Resources

Fathers' Day was first celebrated in 1910, in Spokane, WA, USA, and thus is 100 years old this year. In the countries of our diocese Fathers' Day is observed at different times of the year. Some celebrate it, logically, in conjunction with St Joseph's Day on 19 March: Andorra, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Some Nordic / Baltic countries mark the day on the second Sunday of November: Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. There are some which follow the UK / USA pattern of the third Sunday in June: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine and many of our congregations in these countries will be mark the day this Sunday 20th June.

The Church of England has brought together some material that can be used at services for Fathers' Day. They are suitable for use this coming Sunday or whenever Fathers' Day will be observed in our congregations. Included is a prayer that can be used by children to pray for their fathers:

Loving God,
We thank you for the gift of good dads,
and everything that they do for us.
Help them to have
patience when we're difficult,
wisdom when we can't see the way,
strength when we need comforting,
and love at all times,
so that, though them,
we get a little glimpse of how you feel about us,
our heavenly Father. Amen.
There is also this prayer which can be used more generally, which draws upon the theme of St Joseph:

Heavenly Father,
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers
as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender. Amen
Ideas for a service of the word, special collects and readings and other resource material to help celebrate Fathers' Day can be found on the Church of England website here. By the way, the C of E is unsure where to place the apostrophe in Fathers' Day!

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