Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Prayer for a Change of Command Parade

One of the purposes of this blog is to highlight the work that military chaplains do, and one of the chaplain's traditional places is at a change of command parade, when a unit's new commanding officer takes over. On such occasions, which are important moments in a unit's institutional life and identity, a chaplain can be called on to ask a blessing on the unit and it's commander. When one thinks about how secular and complex a country Canada can be, it's a great privilege to be asked to recognize and to invoke the aid of a higher power on such occasions.

For the last few months I've had the privilege of being the acting unit chaplain for 14 Air Maintenance Squadron here at 14 Wing. This group of talented technicians and mechanics keep Canada's east coast fleet of Aurora surveillance and ASW aircraft flying.

The Air Force does things a little differently than the army. Because 14 AMS' squadron crest features a honey bee, a symbol of industriousness, a member of the squadron dressed in a bee costume and accompanied the outgoing CO off the parade. Also, because the outgoing CO is notoriously fond of Swiss Chalet chicken, another member dressed as a chicken (one wouuld NEVER see this at an RCR parade)appeared at the end to present him with some Swiss Chalet gift certificates. The sight of LCol Garbutt and the chicken exchanging salutes was quite unique.

The prayer I composed for the occasion appears in English and French, the fruits of my recent French course. If you spot any errors, I'd be grateful to know about them.

Let us pray.


Seigneur, nous nous rassemblons aujourd’hui pour vous demander, par votre gentilesse, de bénir le quatorzième escadron de maintenance.

Nous vous remercions pour la direction et pour la sagesse de LCol Garbutt, et nous vous demandons de bénir lui pendant qu’il assume ses nouvelles responsabilités comme le commandant de la seizième escadre à Borden. Gardez sa famille, Corinne, Andrew, and Sarah, pendant qu’ils doivent vivre éloignèes de leurs père.

Gracious God, we ask your blessing on this unit gathered here, 14 Air Maintenance Squadron.

We thank you for the leadership and for the wisdom of L.Col. Garbutt, and we ask you to bless him as he assumes his new duties as the Commander of 16 Wing at Borden. Please guard and protect his family, Corinne, Andrew, and Sarah, while they must live apart from him in Ottawa.

Nous vous demandons aussi de bénir notre nouveau commandant de l`escadron, LCol Flynn, sa conjointe Carolyn, et leur famille. Permettez la direction de LCol Flynn de continuer cet escadron d`être le meilleur escadron dans la Force Aerienne.

We ask you also to bless our new squadron commander, LCol Flynn, his wife Carolyn, and their family. May his leadership guide this squadron and help it continue to be the best squadron in the Air Force.

Seigneur, parmi la famille qui est cet escadron, nous vous remercions pour la naissance du troisieme enfant de la famille MacSween, et nous prions pour tous parmi nous qui ont besoin de votre aide puissante

Loving God, among the family that is this squadron, we give you thanks for the birth of the third son of the MacSween family, and we pray that all among us who are in need may know the help of your mighty power in their lives.

Aidez nous, nous prions, à se rappeler toutefois que les vies des autres comptent sur notre bon travail. Aidez nous de faire notre devoir envers Canada et envers l`un l`autre.

Help us, we pray, to remember always the lives of those who depend upon our good work. Help us to do our duty to Canada, and to one another.



styler said...

"Gardez sa famille, Corinne, Andrew, and Sarah"

Is "and" a word in francais Canadien? I was thinking "et," but my former FRE101 prof was from Paris.

mad padre said...

Good catch, Steve. That should be "et" and that's the French "et", not the English Canadian "eh", eh? :)


Anonymous said...

tres intiresno, merci

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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