I was privileged to be the intercessor on Sunday, Oct. 14 and was invited to use the intercessions from the Anglican church, printed in the bulletin. May I say how much I liked them, finding a place to mention all our parish prayers, except the thanksgiving of the births of several babies.
However I must say that I was disturbed enough by one section to add a word of my own. I am referring to the section “We pray especially for women and children and for the elderly who are most affected by war and violence.”
I live with three men (aged 55, 21 and 19) who are gentle, kind, considerate and reveal their “feminine” sides daily, and who have been, and continue to be, very deeply affected by the events of the last few weeks. I also live with a woman (aged 23) and have another daughter (aged 25) who seem to be able to handle discussions about these events more easily than their brothers and father. I feel concerned that the sentence above a) perpetuates the myth that men can handle violence and warfare better than women and b) that women are more vulnerable simply because they are women.
Do we forget that women now fight in the armed forces or were these prayers written before this was commonplace? I think the Anglican church should encourage men to continue to be gentle and loving and to hate and fear war as much as women have traditionally done.
The word I added was “men” and was inserted before “women.”