on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city, August 9th, 1945
To all provinces, dioceses, churches and members of the Anglican Communion, and all concerned for peace.
Greetings in the name of our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ.
This year as every year we at Holy Trinity Nagasaki will be remembering the victims of the atomic bombing which took place on August 9th 1945. 70,000 people in the city lost their lives in the explosion, including 29 members of this church. In the following days and years many times that number died as a result of injury or radiation-related disease, and deaths directly attributed to the bombing still occur. Many thousands still suffer from the physical and mental effects of the atom bomb, among whom are members of this congregation.
On August 9th, at 10:30 a.m. Japan time, a memorial service will be held at Nagasaki Holy Trinity Church, Diocese of Kyushu, Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Anglican/Episcopal Church of Japan). We hope that people from many places in Kyushu and elsewhere in Japan, especially young church members, will attend. The Bishop of Kyushu, The Right Reverend Gabriel Igarashi, will preach. At 11:02 a.m., the time of the bombing, sirens will sound throughout the city and then silence will be observed in the church as everywhere else. After the service we will listen to a reading of the atom bomb testimony of the late Dr Paul Nagata. Dr Nagata was a member of this church who in the immediate aftermath of the bombing searched for surviving members of the congregation in the destroyed areas of the city.
On behalf of the congregation of Holy Trinity Nagasaki and of the Bishop of Kyushu, I would like to invite all people of goodwill to join with us in praying for the healing and restoring power of God to be upon all victims, living and dead, of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bombings. We pray in particular for foreign victims of the bombings. We pray too for all victims of war, for an end to warfare and for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We would be very glad to receive messages from anyone who feels able to pray with us in this way.
The service is a memorial for the dead and a time of prayer for those still suffering and for peace. I would, however, like to point out that in 1996 the General Synod of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai made a Declaration of Responsibility for War, in which the church acknowledged its support for the military regime before and after the war, and its failure immediately after the war to admit its sin, engage in reconciliation with neighbouring countries and provide reparation. The declaration included an apology for and a confession of those failures, and the determination that the NSKK shall be an instrument of Peace. The church is active in calling on the government to do likewise.
The following are translations of prayers written by members of this church, which you may like to join us in using:
For those who died in the atomic bombing
O Lord God of all in this world and of all who have passed from it, we now remember and pray for all those who passed from the world through the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, especially the 29 believers of Nagasaki Holy Trinity Church, and we entrust their souls into the deep tenderness of your hands. We ask that we may not let their sacrifice be in vain, but may always be enabled to seek after the peace that you give. We ask this through the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray in remembrance of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and all who died in it, especially those from this church: Goto Giichiro, Goto Teruko, Hayashida Yukie, Hayashida Shizue, Hayashida Baku, Hayashida Masako, Hayashida Akiko, Shin Tamie, Shin Fujiko, Iga Yukitomo, Miyamoto Fuji, Miyamoto Tomoko, Miyamoto Hiroshi, Miyamoto Fumiko, Miyamoto Hiroko, Miyamoto Tomoko, Miyamoto Noritoshi, Date Masumi, Date Hideko, Date Toru, Date Akio, Tagawa Yasuji, Tagawa Tsuru, Tagawa Sadanori, Tagawa Sai, Ishibashi Tomoe, and two whose names are lost.
A prayer for all those who are still suffering from after-effects, especially those victims of the atom bomb from Korea and other Asian countries who do not receive assistance from Japan.
O Lord of deep tenderness, your son Jesus Christ has through the cross removed the dividing barriers of hatred and opened up a way to reconciliation in you, so that all people can live in peace as members of your family. Please take pity on all those in all lands, and especially those from neighbouring Asian countries, who are still suffering from the atomic bombing, and fulfil all their needs. We ask this through the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
A prayer for the abolition of nuclear weapons
O God our heavenly father, because of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, we know how terrible these weapons of slaughter are, how they destroy people's lives from the very root, and how they cause suffering to people over a long time. There are now in the world nuclear weapons capable of causing ruin and destruction that would be many times more terrible. Please O Lord, guide the hearts of the people of the world, so that a peace can be realised that comes not from weapons and a balance of military might but from dialogue, and so that all forms of nuclear weapons may vanish from the face of the earth. We ask this through the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Please respond with your thought and prayers. This message comes with prayers for your peace and in the love of Christ.
Rector, Nagasaki Holy Trinity Church, Diocese of Kyushu, Japan