Water Stratford Remembrance Service
Sunday 9th November 2014

The Lord is here.
His spirit is with us.

We meet in this centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, to remember the many millions of fighters and civilians who died; to think also of those who were terribly injured and traumatized, and to remember the bereaved. We remember too all who have died and suffered in conflicts since, and who still do today.

We begin by remembering a suffering God.

Hymn:  There is a green hill far away

Act of Remembrance
Let us remember in thanksgiving and sorrow those who have died in conflict,
Herbert Cadd, Kenneth Henry, Francis May, Thomas Pearson, William Hilsdon, Robert Sikes.

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.

The Two-Minute Silence

Almighty God, from whose love we cannot be parted, either by death or life: hear our prayers and thanksgiving for all whom we remember this day. Fulfil in us, as in them, the purpose of your love; and bring us all to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading: August 1914 by John Masefield

Reading: From 1914-18: Voices from the Great War compiled by Lyn McDonald

Reading: Mark 8. 34-38: The Call to Sacrifice

Let us confess to God the sins and shortcomings of the world;
its pride, its selfishness, its greed;
its evil divisions and hatreds.
Let us confess our share in what is wrong,
and our failure to seek and establish that peace
which God wills for his children.

Merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned
in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy,
forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be;
that we may do justly,
love mercy,
and walk humbly with you, our God.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who are truly sorry,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Hymn:  Be still, for the presence of the Lord

Reading: Revelation 21. 3-5a: A Vision of the Coming of God's Kingdom

We pray for the coming of God's kingdom in the words of the Lord's Prayer.

The Peace Prayer used by people of many faiths
Lead me from Death to Life,
from Falsehood to Truth.
Lead me from Despair to Hope,
from Fear to Trust.
Lead me from Hate to Love,
from War to Peace.
Let Peace fill our heart,
our world, our universe.

Reflection on Sacrifice
Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15. 13)

Today we honour the sacrifice of those who have died in war. We give thanks that members of our armed and emergency services and others are still prepared to risk danger and death for our safety. Service families too make sacrifices: long periods apart and anxious waits for news when their loved ones are on active service, and the disruption to careers, schooling and friendships caused by frequent and unpredictable postings: we acknowledge their sacrifice too. We are all called to serve others; not many are asked to die for others, but to live for others is also a commitment and has a cost.

Act of Commitment
Let us pledge ourselves anew to a life of service, that we may help, encourage and comfort others, and support those working for the relief of those in need and the peace and welfare of all countries.
Lord God, we pledge ourselves to serve others
in our homes, our community and the world.
Guide us to strive for peace and justice
and the relief of want and suffering.
Give us wisdom; give us courage; give us hope;
and keep us always faithful.

Offertory Hymn: Father, hear the prayer we offer

The Blessing
May God give to us and all those for whom we pray
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next;
and may the blessing of Almighty God,
Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier,
be among us and remain with us always.