A Liturgy for the Removal of the American Flag from Sanctuaries

A Liturgy for the Removal of the American Flag from Sanctuaries

Emily Carle, Youth Director at Center Church of South Hadley, MA, wrote the following in response to a tweet from Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, who said:  "Someone should write a beautiful liturgy for the removing of national flags from Christian sanctuaries."


God of all nations and peoples
God of all colors, ethnicities, and origins
God who breaks all the binaries
We humbly come to you.
We confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and soul.
We confess that the presence of the American flag in our sanctuary is an idol, distracting us from the one true purpose of our presence here which is you.
We confess our knowledge that you are a God for all people and all locations.
We confess our understanding that no nation or flag is better than another.
We confess our ignorance about the violence and harm done in the name of the flag for what it represents.
We confess our sins of racism and xenophobia, knowing that we are complicit.
We confess that the American flag is not a symbol of the Christian faith.
We confess that the United States is not a superior or God-favored country.
We repent for the flag’s occupation in our sanctuary, understanding that while our physical existence is in the United States, ultimately, we belong to you in the Kin-dom of Heaven.
We repent for the times we have worshipped the flag instead of you, consciously or unconsciously.
We repent for the times we lifted up country over you and your people.
We repent for the harm we have caused when we placed the flag above you.
Accept our repentance Lord, for the wrongs we have done.
Be with us now as we cleanse your house from the idol of the American flag.
Grow love and acceptance of other people into our hearts, so there is no room for nationalism.
Forgive us for our past ways, and favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.
Guide us on the journey to create Heaven on Earth.
In Jesus’s Holy Name

Emily Carle (she/they)
Louisville Seminary M.Div '24
Mount Holyoke College BA '21
Youth Director | Center Church of South Hadley, MA

Are you a writer ages 13-29? Share your reflection or original piece through the SNEUCC Young Voices Project


Emily Carle

Emily Carle is a General Synod delegate and Youth Director at First Congregational Church in South Hadley, MA. She is a Member in Discernment with the Hampshire Association and is pursuing her M.Div at Louisville Seminary.

Subscribe to our emails
Framingham, MA Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702
Fax: 508-875-5485

Hartford, CT Office

125 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
866-367-2822 (Toll Free in CT)

General Email: friends@sneucc.org