THE VACANT CHAIR – a Devotion for Memorial Day, 27 May 2024, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide

The Anglican Orthodox Church SM

FOUNDER: THE MOST REV. JAMES PARKER DEES, A.B., B.D., D.D.  •  founded November 16, 1963
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The Most Rev. Jerry L. Ogles – Presiding Bishop


Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16 (KJB)

There are many holidays set aside for the purposes of memorializing either a person or an event. But Memorial Day is set aside to honor all of the service men and women who have laid down their lives in the defense of freedom. One of the first memorial days celebrated followed the cessation of hostilities between the Union and Confederate armed forces on April 26, 1866 by ladies of Richmond – a day they labelled ‘Decoration Day.’ They not only decorated southern graves, but northern, as well. Confederate Memorial Day is still celebrated on April 26 (or the 4th Monday in April) in Alabama and a few other southern states.

Memorial Day became a national observance with the proclamation of General Logan of the Army of the Potomac: “The first national observance of Memorial Day occurred on May 30, 1868.[5] Then known as Decoration Day, the holiday was proclaimed by Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor the Union soldiers who had died in the American Civil War.

There are many tables across America that observe a vacant chair where a loved one, lost in battle, once sat. We share the meal as families, but never forget that vacant chair. My brother, Ken, killed in action with the 1st Cavalry Division at the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam, was remembered daily by my mother and father until the day they were called to share a seat at the Table of our Lord.

America has fought many wars, and our arms have been favored by our God are many a far flung battlefield; but perhaps the most tragic of all was the war we fought against ourselves – the War Between the States. In that war, every soldier killed on either side was an American. I have included a you tube link above to a Civil War era song with this Memorial Day message entitled, “The Vacant Chair,” by Tennessee Ernie Ford. As is typical of our national songs of that era, The Vacant Chair is one of melancholy and of pensive sentiments. Songs of that time were never irreverent, but meaningful. The plaintive nature of the song expresses the same sentiments that fill the hearts of every Gold Star family today.

Let us not forget the Vacant Chair and the great cost in blood and treasure which that Chair has cost millions of American families from Valley Forge to Kabul.

 God bless our honored dead, and those who have signed their names as pledges to lay their lives on the line as well in defense of our freedoms and a constitutional Republic.


In Christ Alone during Season of Trinity,

 Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.

Presiding Bishop.

AnglicanOrthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor,

Faith Theological Seminary

 Let us carefully observe how little good they do who attempt to mix up evangelical preaching and a ritual ceremony. Little, did I say? – they do no good at all! The world is never won by trimming and compromising, by facing both ways, and trying to please all. The cross of Christ is never made more acceptable by sawing off its corners, or by polishing, varnishing, and adorning it. Processions and banners, and flowers, and crosses, and excessive quantity of music, and elaborate services, and beautiful vestments may please children and weak-minded people. But they never helped forward heart-conversion and heart-sanctification, and they never will.  Bishop J. C. Ryle, First Bishop of Liverpool, U.K.

 “Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS:       Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:


If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”









By |2024-05-28T16:35:51+00:00May 28th, 2024|Blog|Comments Off on THE VACANT CHAIR – a Devotion for Memorial Day, 27 May 2024, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide

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