Remembrance Sunday 2017

A lot of words will be said and sung today in Remembrance Sunday services and commemorations across the UK.

Words made familiar over time will be repeated.

Some words said and sung today will be poignant and beautiful, some nostalgic and sentimental, some lamenting.

Other words may be hopeful, pointing to a vision of a better world and inspiring children, women and men to work for 'all that makes for peace and builds up the common good'.

Whatever is said and sung today tends to raise more questions than they answer. The one word, 'why' seems to hover over all our remembering.

Perhaps the best thing about Remembrance Sunday is silence rather than words. The 2 minute silence is more eloquent on such occasions than our inadequate and sometimes misguided words. And silence can be the best way to pray.

If you want some words for a prayer today, here is a prayer by Stephen Vincent Benet that I hope you thing is worth praying. It is not a specifically Christian prayer. It is a prayer that can be used by people of all faiths.

Our globe is nothing but a little star in the great universe.
It is our duty to turn this globe into a planet
whose creatures are not tormented by wars,
nor tortured by hunger and fear,
nor torn apart in senseless divisions
according to race, colour or creed.
Give us the courage and foresight,
to begin this work even today,
so that our children and grandchildren
may one day take pride
in being called human.

from 'Prayers Encircling the World', SPCK 1998