I’ve been given an opportunity to officiate the 9/11 Memorial Service
at Atria Senior Living, Las Vegas facility. The request was made by
Engaging Director of the senior residence home. I already minister
twice a month at this facility, a non-denominational service on
Sundays since June ’12, which includes protestant hymns, sharing
and prayers. This was my first officiating ceremony for 9/11 Memorial
Service. I am an ordained minister since January 2011, through
Universal Life Church Monastery, an on-line ministry church.
The Engaging director requested I officiate a “universal” type of
ceremony, because some residents are Christians, non-Christians, or Jewish or some have no religion and respect their sensitivities. So, I did some
research and put together some attributes of Christianity, Judaism,
Meta-Physics, Unitarian, Humanism/Humanistic, Eastern Philosophy
and meditation, and came up with Inter-faith ceremony.
I e-mailed all of my order of service and the detailed script to the
director, and she reviewed with me last Sunday, and was very happy
with the format and the ceremony. I encouraged delegating few
readings to resident and the director, which they gladly participated
in it. Attendees were encouraged to call out their loved ones names
who passed away for remembrance and some of them did call out
the names while in silence.
My officiating became more of a conductor and I made sure all the
items were in synchronizing and flowed naturally, including singing
the hymn “Amazing Grace”, through my final delivery of the
I was glad to see the Executive Director at the ceremony. I didn’t know
he would be attending. After the ceremony, the executive director
came up front and shared some of the feelings and thoughts of 9/11
experience while he was living in New York for few minutes. I had the
opportunity to meet him and we shook hands for the first time. He
also thanked me for officiating the service. Many of the seniors
thanked me for conducting the memorial service. One fellow
wouldn’t let my hand go.:-).
Rev. Ernie Martin