Online Service 8th November 2020

Welcome to the Service for the 3rd Sunday before Advent: Also available via YouTube

Online Service 8th November 2020

SERVICE ON REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 2020

 

Click Here For YouTube Service

 

(Some hymns words will appear on screen; some will be for listening reflection.)

Hymn

O God our Help in Ages Past

INTRODUCTION

 

We meet in the presence of God.

 

We remember with thanksgiving and sorrow
those whose lives,
in world wars and conflicts past and present,
have been given and taken away.

 

We pray for all
who in bereavement, disability and pain
continue to suffer the consequences of
fighting and terror.

 

We commit ourselves to work
in penitence and faith
for reconciliation between the nations,
that all people may, together,
live in freedom, justice and peace.  

 

OPENING PRAYER

 

Ever-living God

we remember those whom you have gathered

from the storm of war into the peace of your presence;

may that same peace

calm our fears,

bring justice to all peoples

and establish harmony among the nations,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

READING

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down his  disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst

for righteousness, for they will be filled.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before  you.”

Matthew 5:1-12

 

REFLECTION

O Lord open my lips and my mouth shall declare thy praise. I want to tell you the story of John McCrae and one of his poems “In Flanders Field”. He was one of the many who have spoken through poetry about the acts valour and the deep losses and sadness of world war 1. John McCrae’s words are profound and timeless, they hold true for conflicts even to this day, 105 years after he wrote them. I shall now read his poem….

IN FLANDERS FIELDS

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

 

That poem is perhaps the best know poem of the first world war. It is partly from this poem that the poppy was adopted as the Flower of Remembrance for the war dead of Britain, France, the United States, Canada and the Commonwealth countries.

McCrae was a Canadian doctor who signed up in 1914 within the first 3 weeks of war he was 41 at the time. He became deeply troubled by the carnage and suffering he witnessed in the battle fields and field hospitals, and wrote poetry to express his feelings. The day before he wrote the poem “In Flanders Field”, one of his closest friends Alex Helmer, aged only 22, was killed in the fighting and buried in a makeshift grave with a simple wooden cross. Wild poppies were already beginning to bloom between the crosses marking the many graves. Unable to help his friend or any of the others who had died, McCrae tried to give them a voice through his poem.

He also gave tirelessly of his medical skills in caring for those wounded in battle. Despite all that he still felt that he should have made greater sacrifices. When he was posted from the battlefields to a military hospital, he insisted on living in a tent through the year, like his comrades at the front, rather than in the officers' huts. When this affected his health in mid-winter he had to be ordered into warmer surroundings. He had been an optimistic and gregarious person but it was noted that after the battle Ypres he was never the same. Fortunately, he had taken his beloved horse called Bonfire to France and took to riding him through the countryside for long rides which helped him cope. And he wrote letters to his niece and nephew which he signed from Bonfire, using the horses hoof print to do so. His health began to suffer by 1917 and after bouts of illness he died on January 28th 1918, aged 45 from pneumonia and meningitis.

He was buried with full military honours in Wimereux Cemetery, not far from the fields of Flanders. Bonfire his horse led the funeral procession, McCrae's riding boots were reversed in the stirrups. His death was met with great grief among his friends and contemporaries. A friend of McCrae’s wrote of the funeral:

The day of the funeral was a beautiful spring day; none of us wore overcoats. You know the haze that comes over the hills at Wimereux. I felt so thankful that the poet of 'In Flanders Fields' was lying out there in the bright sunshine in the open space he loved so well....

He has left us with words that inspire and call from us a spirit of gratitude to those who have given their lives in battle….and yet words that also cause us think and question how we carry “the torch” of challenge of injustices forward and keep faith with those who have died for us. Thank you for listening.”

HYMN

Eternal Father Strong to Save

INTERCESSION

 

In peace let us pray to the Lord.

 

We pray for the leaders of the nations, that you will guide them in the ways of freedom, justice and truth.
Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

 

We pray for those who serve in the armed forces of the Crown, that they may have discipline and discernment, courage and compassion.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

 

We pray for our enemies, and those who wish us harm, that you may turn the hearts of all
to kindness and friendship.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

 

We pray for the wounded and the captive, the grieving and the homeless, that in all their trials they may know your love and support.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

 

Most Holy God and Father,
hear our prayers for all who strive for peace,
and all who yearn for justice.
Help us, who today remember the cost of war,
to work for a better tomorrow;
and, as we commend to you lives lost

in terror and conflict,
bring us all, in the end,
to the peace of your presence;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen

 

Gathering our prayers and remembrance into one,
let us pray with confidence
as our Saviour has taught us

 

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come;

thy will be done on earth

as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory

for ever and ever.

Amen

 

HYMN

All my hope on God is Founded

 

ACT OF REMEMBRANCE

 

Let us remember before God,
and commend to his sure keeping:
those who have died for their country in war;
those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure;
and all who have lived and died
in the service of humanity.

 

(Exhortation)

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.

 

All affirm:

We will remember them.

 

Last post.

2 MINUTES SILENCE

Reveille

 

(Kohima epitaph)

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

 

 

 

 

 

ACT OF COMMITMENT

 

Let us commit ourselves
to responsible living
and faithful service.

 

Will you strive for all that makes for peace?
All say We will

Will you seek to heal the wounds of war?
All say We will

Will you work for a just future for all humanity?
All say We will

 

 

Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humanity,
in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit; give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful
now and always.
Amen.  

 

 

HYMN

 

I Vow to Thee my Country

 

 

BLESSING

God grant to the living, grace;
to the departed, rest;
to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth,
and all people, peace and concord;
and to us and all his servants, life everlasting
.

And the blessing of God almighty,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
come down upon you and remain with you always
.
Amen

 

 

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