USS Lafayette SSBN 616
Chaplain's Page

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If you know of any Lafayette shipmate on Sick Call, departed on Eternal Patrol, 
or just in need of prayer, please contact the Association Chaplin:      

The Submarine Verses are:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Who's arm has bound the restless wave.
Who bids the mighty ocean deep,
It's own appointed limits keep.
Dear Lord, we lift our prayer to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

Lord God, our power ever more,
Whose arm doth reach the ocean floor,
Dive with our men beneath the sea;
Traverse the depths protectively.
O hear us when we pray and keep,
Them safe from peril in the deep.

Lord, guard and guide the men who man
The submarines that guard our land.
Be with them always night and day,
In quiet depths or roaring spray.
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea.

Bless those who serve beneath the deep,
Through lonely hours their vigil keep.
May peace their mission ever be,
Protect each one, we ask of Thee.
Bless those at home who wait and pray
For their return by night and day.

Updated: 5/15/2017
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John Fornicola
Chaplain
423-310-3331
jfornicola#comcast.net
The Original Words are:

Verse 1:    Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, 
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! 

Verse 2:    O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Verse 3:    Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! 

Verse 4:    O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour; 
From rock and tempest, fire and foe, 
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.
Navy Hymn

The "Navy Hymn" is Eternal Father, Strong to Save

The original words were written as a poem in 1860 by William Whiting of Winchester, England, for a student who was about to sail for the United States. The melody, published in 1861, was composed by fellow Englishman, Rev. John Bacchus Dykes, an Episcopalian clergyman. 

The hymn, found in most hymnals, is known as the "Navy hymn" because it is sung at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It is also sung on ships of the Royal Navy (U.K.) and has been translated into French.

Eternal Father was the favorite hymn of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was sung at his funeral in Hyde Park, New York, in April 1945. It was also played by the Navy Band in 1963 as President John F. Kennedy's body was carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. Roosevelt had served as Secretary of the Navy and Kennedy was a PT boat commander in World War II.
The Submariner's Prayer

Almighty, Everlasting God, and the Protector of all those who put their trust in Thee: hear our prayers in behalf of Thy servants who sail their vessels beneath the seas.

We beseech Thee to keep in Thy sustaining care all who are in submarines, that they may be delivered from the hidden dangers of the deep.

Grant them courage, and a devotion to fulfill their duties, that they may better serve Thee and their native land.

Though acquainted with the depths of the ocean, deliver them from the depths of despair and the dark hours of the absence of friendliness and grant them a good ship's spirit.

Bless all their kindred and loved ones from whom they are separated.

When they surface their ships, may they praise Thee for Thou art there as well as in the deep?

Fill them with Thy Spirit that they may be sure in their reckonings, unwavering in duty, high in purpose, and upholding the honor of their nation.

Amen
Please submit any request to Chaplain John Fornicola
Monthly Moments for Meditation

May 2017

A Day to Honor Life 

Memorial Day – while for some it’s the beginning of summer and to us it’s a solemn day to remember those who have passed from this life. To the war veteran and to the families of fallen soldiers and sailors, Memorial Day carries significance so deep that words cannot express their hearts.

When we look into the eyes of those who still mourn these once vibrant men and women, we often sense their loneliness and pain. We hear them choke back tears as they simply say the ranks and names of their military brothers and sisters at a Memorial Day service or at a Tolling of the Bell Ceremony. Those who have been personally affected by war understand and appreciate this day of remembrance with reverence and respect flowing from within.

In an often quoted Memorial Day speech given in 1884 by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., the speaker ended his address with these words, “Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death -- of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.”

I believe that Holmes’ proposition to “think of life, not death” would honor the fallen soldier and sailor. Their sacrifice follows the example of Jesus Christ laying down His life for our freedom. It's selfless love for others – not so they can mourn forever, but live!

"We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16

Notice that in scripture and in military service, the willingness to give up one’s life is not dependent on the worthiness of the people who benefit from the honorable act. In a perfect world, all who receive freedom and grace would be worthy of such a sacrifice and full of gratitude. But that’s not the way it is anywhere on Earth or in Heaven.

"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8

We are blessed to be living in a free society. May we honor our American soldiers and sailors for the liberty we have in this country. May we also give thanks to Almighty God for the freedom we have to spend eternity with Him because of His gift of forgiveness through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A Day to Honor Life-Memorial Day Devotion from CBN.com as modified by Chaplain John.

God Bless you all and God Bless America!