Remembrance Sunday Background
Many Christians struggle with the idea of Remembrance Sunday, “Why”, many ask, “should we celebrate a day that glorifies such a destructive force as war?” It is however, very difficult to categorise wars, saying this one is just and that one is not. Often we just don’t know all the details, background and circumstances. However, looking beyond the reasons for war and the political arguments out of which wars may arise, we need to recognise the ordinary people who fight, are wounded and die in war.
These people give their lives for their countries, often in the hope that by doing so they will preserve their own way of life. From the battles of the Israelites as they sought to secure the land God had promised them to the most recent conflicts around the world, soldiers have shown bravery, grace and compassion in the midst of some of the most horrific events anyone could witness. It is these people who are remembered on Remembrance Sunday. The bravery and sacrifice of these people is what we give thanks to God for.
People of all ages will be familiar with stories of war – through school, television and the Internet. We are all bombarded with images, sounds and stories of war. Many in our congregations, in our village and surrounding areas, especially older people will have friends and relatives who have died or been injured in conflicts. Often this day brings back painful memories, of loved ones killed in terrible circumstances. We must be sensitive to those people and make sure that we have a ministry team to support them in prayer.
The Remembrance Service
The Remembrance Service welcomes anyone who wishes to attend and takes part on the Sunday nearest the 11th November every year. The service starts with a Holy Communion Service at 10.00am followed by a Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial, just outside and near to main entrance doors of the church. A two minute silence is observed at 11.00am and people are invited to lay a wreath or other act of commemoration and remembrance for their loved ones after the National Anthem is sung. This is then followed by a commitment or a prayer for peace in our world. When the Remembrance Service ends, those present are invited to use the church for private prayer and reflection.
The collection from this service is donated to the Royal British Legion. The service lasts approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.