Blog Every Day in November is a challenge hosted by Elizabeth of Rosalilium a lifestyle blog. Today’s prompt is Remembrance Day.
As someone brought up to attend Sunday School and then church, I have marked Remembrance Day by attending a service on the nearest Sunday to 11th November most years. There have been occasions when I have not been well enough to go and I stopped going to church for about seven years. I began to go again after moving to the place where I live now.
Here Remembrance Day is an important event and many people attend the parade from the War Memorial to the church and the service which follows it.
I do not join the parade, because I sing in the choir. We have a practice immediately before the service and cannot be in two places at once.
The choir leads the procession in silence once it arrives at the church. This is 15 minutes later than the time the service begins for the rest of the year. From the choir stalls we watch the uniformed organisations present their banners.
The service follows a particular form where similar prayers are said and readings used year after year. We sing patriotic songs. The preacher is often a visitor with special knowledge of the military life, perhaps a former padre. During the silence I recall that my Grandad and my Dad fought in WW1 and WW2, respectively and fortunately returned – or I’d never have been born! Had my father-in-law not returned, my husband, children, grandchildren would never have existed. I also remember those who gave their lives in conflict and those serving in the armed forces at present. I long for peace.
Yesterday our vicar changed our traditional way of beginning the service to ensure that we marked the silence at 11:00. We had some opening words and then the procession, led by a processional cross walked in singing, O God our help in ages past.
The set reading for the day was Luke 20:27-38 and the sermon was about the resurrection with an emphasis on God being the God of the living (including Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). The issues surrounding Remembrance Day were addressed, with particular reference to thankfulness for our freedoms and the desire for peace. Famous people mentioned included Winston Churchill and C. S. Lewis, both in the context of WW2. The central message of the Gospel was also explained. Jesus laid down his life on the cross to reconcile those who put their trust in Him to God. He is more alive than we are.
This year Remembrance Day falls on a Monday, which is the usual practice night for the other choir I sing in. We are marking it with a Concert for Peace.