Act of Remembrance – Wednesday 11th November

10.55    Church bell will be tolled as a form of last post

11.00    Church clock will strike 11 followed by 2 minute silence

11.02    The wreath of poppies will be placed on the altar in Church

There can be no congregation as, under the Covid-19 restrictions, the Government has banned communal worship in churches. The Church will be open for quiet and private prayer during the rest of Wednesday.

Texts and Prayers which you may find helpful:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

11.00 Two Minutes Silence

The Kohima Epitaph:
When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, we gave our today.

Prayers

Almighty and eternal God, from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted, either by death or life: hear our prayers and thanksgivings for those whom we remember this day for those who have died in conflict and for all who suffer today; fulfil in them the purpose of your love; and bring us, with them, to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God
And our fellow men and women:
That we may help, encourage and comfort others,
Support those working for the relief of the needy
And look for the peace and welfare of the nations.

The Thanksgiving

We offer to Almighty God our thanksgiving for the many blessings with which he has enriched our lives.
For the Queen and all who under her bear the responsibility of government,
All: Thanks be to God.
For those who serve on sea and land and in the air to establish and maintain peace,
All: Thanks be to God.
For the sacrifices made, especially in war, whereby our peace has been preserved,
All: Thanks be to God.
For all organisations which care for refugees and the war-torn and work for international peace,
All: Thanks be to God.

Patriotism is not enough – a reflection for Remembrance by the Rt Revd Brian Castle

This is the time of year when the stories of the nation connect with our personal stories. We remember those who died in armed conflict or suffer as a result of war. Some of those we remember will be known to us – friends, comrades or family members will be especially in our minds. Countless others will not be known to us. On this occasion we remember them all, giving thanks for what they gave up. As the Kohima Epitaph says: ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’ It is politicians who declare wars: it is ordinary people who fight them. Today is not a day for glorifying war, but for being grateful to those ordinary men and women who died and suffered in them.

But it doesn’t end there. One way to honour their memories is by the way we remember the past. If we are locked in to the bitterness of the conflict, we will be held back by it. Such bitterness poisons the present and darkens the future. This is not honouring their memories. On the other hand, we do honour their memories if their death and suffering can build a resolve within us to strengthen our hope, build a better future and work for peace and justice.

Strengthening hope, building a better future and working for peace and justice may seem a distant dream as we are locked down in fear of Covid and, in addition, as we struggle with an uncertain political future. But in remembering and being thankful for those who gave their ‘today’ for our ‘tomorrow’, we may be encouraged and inspired by their heroism and determination.

I conclude with the moving story of Edith Cavell. She was a nurse in the World War1 who is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers, without discrimination, from both sides of the conflict. She also helped soldiers escape from enemy occupied territory in Belgium and for this she was arrested and eventually executed. On the night before her execution in 1915 Edith Cavell wrote:

Standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realise that patriotism is not enough: I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.

Can we dig as deeply as that?