Remembrance Sunday 13th November

Hymn – Eternal Father, Strong to Save

  • Eternal Father, strong to save,
    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
    Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!
     
  • O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
    And hushed their raging at Thy word,
    Who walked’st on the foaming deep,
    And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!
     
  • Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
    Upon the chaos dark and rude,
    And bid its angry tumult cease,
    And give, for wild confusion, peace;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!
     
  • O Trinity of love and power!
    Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
    From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
    Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
    Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
    Glad hymns of praise from land and sea
    .(by William Whiring – 1825 to 1878)

Welcome

Minister: We are here to worship Almighty God whose power purposes are good: whose sustains the world he has made; who loved us, though we have failed in his service; who gave Jesus Christ for the life of the world; who by his Holy Spirit leads us in his way.

As we give thanks for his great works, we remember those who have lived and died in his service and in the service of others: we pray for all who suffer through war and are in need: we ask for his help and blessing that we may do his will and that the whole world may acknowledge him as Lord and King.

Confession

We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Therefore we say together:

Almighty God, we confess our sins and shortcomings, our pride, selfishness and greed: all evil and hatred that divides us from our fellow humans we confess to you our share in what is wrong, our failure to seek and establish the peace you want for all people. In his mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord 

All: Amen

The Minister offers the promise of God’s mercy.

Our Reading is from – Luke Chap: 21

5 Some of the disciples were talking about the Temple, how beautiful it looked with its fine stones and the gifts offered to God. Jesus said, 

6 “All this you see – the time will come when not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one will be thrown down.” 

7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will this be? And what will happen in order to show that the time has come for it to take place?” 

8 Jesus said, “Watch out; don’t be fooled. Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, “I am he!’ and, “The time has come!’ But don’t follow them. 

9 Don’t be afraid when you hear of wars and revolutions; such things must happen first, but they do not mean that the end is near.” 

10 He went on to say, “Countries will fight each other; kingdoms will attack one another. 

11 There will be terrible earthquakes, famines, and plagues everywhere; there will be strange and terrifying things coming from the sky. 

12 Before all these things take place, however, you will be arrested and persecuted; you will be handed over to be tried in synagogues and be put in prison; you will be brought before kings and rulers for my sake. 

13 This will be your chance to tell the Good News. 

14 Make up your minds ahead of time not to worry about how you will defend yourselves, 

15 because I will give you such words and wisdom that none of your enemies will be able to refute or contradict what you say. 

16 You will be handed over by your parents, your brothers, your relatives, and your friends; and some of you will be put to death. 

17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 

18 But not a single hair from your heads will be lost. 

19 Stand firm, and you will save yourselves. 

Sermon 13 November 2022

We gather here today, on one of the most somber Sundays of the year, to remember those who have lost their lives in combat.

Especially we call to mind those whose names were carved so carefully onto this monument – the people who came from this area, and yet who sadly died probably far away from home in the most horrible of circumstances.

Rupert Brooke, one of the Great War poets who himself died in Greece in 1915 and who was born and brought up in Rugby, wrote not long before he died

“If I should die, think only this of me:
That there
s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England
s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.”

Like Rupert, so many young men gave their lives up in the horrors of the wars which we now call the first and second world wars.

Our reading this morning from Luke, Jesus tells us not to be afraid when we hear of reports of wars and rebellions; earthquakes and other disasters, but I cannot but wonder how comforting these words are to those who find themselves in the middle of war; it has been scary watching over the last few months the crisis unfold in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, in February.

Now, I admit, I haven’t travelled much outside the UK, and haven’t been anywhere in Eastern Europe, but to see how the towns and cities have been damaged, how the infrastructure of electricity and water supplies and sewage etc. have been wrecked and how our fellow human beings who had lives and livelihoods similar to ours less than 12 months ago, is honestly tragic and more than a little frightening.

My Dad was born in 1941 and grew up in the middle of Coventry, playing among the wrecked, bombed out houses and other buildings in the streets where he lived. Although he has very few memories of the war time bombing raids in Coventry, the effect of the war in Coventry shaped his childhood and that of those he grew up with.

I have heard some of his stories, but my Grandad who was rescued from Dunkirk in 1940 would never speak about anything he experienced during his time in the army.

As many of you know, I am not local to here, although my parents grew up in Coventry, I grew up away from here, and although Stephen and I moved to Coventry in 1997, this particular area was completely unknown to me until 2018 or perhaps 2019 when Margaret asked if anyone could help out at services and my husband Stephen volunteered.

In preparation for this service, I used our wonderful friend Google to see what I could find out about Ansley during either the first or second world wars. I found very little except for this beautiful copy of a photograph taken of the Ansley war memorial when it was first erected in 1921.

It was dedicated by the then Bishop of Coventry on  21 August 1921 on land which had been donated by the Ansley Coal and Iron Company, who I imagine were a major employer in the area.

I tried to imagine what it would have been like to walk past the Memorial Day after day and week after week, knowing that the names of family and friends were engraved there, a monument perhaps in place of a tomb stone in this very church yard as those who lost their lives, probably died many hundreds of miles away from the Warwickshire countryside they had called home.

To stand at the memorial year after year, remembering those who had been lost from a generation, and perhaps some of the young kids who would stand and watch were those who also went off to war a couple of decades later, many of whom also failed to come home dying during what we now think of as the Second World War.

It is a most sobering thought.  Even today, men and women across our world are signing up to a life in the military, knowing that at some point they may be called to service in areas of conflict and terror.

This remembrance Sunday, and indeed the whole season reminds us to call to mind not only our loss though, but to give thanks.

Thanks for the lives free from conflict which we enjoy; the democracy which was so hard fought for both in the two world wars and in other conflicts since. We call to mind all those who lost so much, both those whose lives were lost and whose names are recorded, but also those who lost loved ones and live with so much grief.

One of my work friends was in the military prior to starting work with the civil service about 5 years ago. He served two tours in Northern Ireland losing friends and colleagues during his time there, before also serving in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. His experience and that of others, remind us, that there are still so many people who have lost friends and family.

So we today honour both those who were killed or injured in the past world wars, but we also hold in prayer those who have died in more recent conflicts and their friends and family for whom the grief is much more raw.

We are going to hold silence and remember, not so that we can forget for the rest of the year, but so that we can take this as an opportunity to recommit to live as peacemakers. And to hold close hope of a world where wars and rebellions will be no more, and that we may help to bring God’s Kingdom of peace to earth.

Amen

Hymn – We Rest on Thee

  • We rest on thee, our Shield and our Defender!
    We go not forth alone against the foe;
    strong in thy strength, safe in thy keeping tender,
    we rest on thee, and in thy name we go;
    strong in thy strength, safe in thy keeping tender,
    we rest on thee, and in thy name we go.
     
  • Yea, in thy name, O Captain of salvation!
    In thy dear name, all other names above:
    Jesus our righteousness, our sure foundation,
    our Prince of glory and our King of love,
    Jesus our righteousness, our sure foundation,
    our Prince of glory and our King of love.
     
  • We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
    and needing more each day thy grace to know:
    yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
    “We rest on thee, and in thy name we go”;
    yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
    “We rest on thee, and in thy name we go.”

4   We rest on thee, our Shield and our Defender!
Thine is the battle, thine shall be the praise;
when passing through the gates of pearly splendour,
victors, we rest with thee, through endless days;
when passing through the gates of pearly splendour,
victors, we rest with thee, through endless days . (by Edith A G Cherry 1872 to 1897) 

Act of Remembrance

All stand 

Let us remember before God 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 mankind. 

The Silence

They shell not grow old, as we that are left grow old,

Age shell not wearies them, nor do the years condemn;

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them

All: We will remember them

Lord God, you hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let great the design

of your love shine on the waste of our anger and sorrows. Give peace to your church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts. In Jesus Christ our Lord,

All: Amen

Prayers: Please sit or keel. 

We say together:

All: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven-

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours.

Now and for ever,

Amen

Prayers of Intercession (led by a church member)

Hymn – Judge Eternal, Thronged in Splendour 

1)  Judge eternal, thronged in splendour,
Lord of lords and King of kings,
with your living fire of judgement
purge this realm of bitter things;
comfort all its wide dominion
with the healing of your wings.

2)  Weary people still are longing
for the hour that brings release,
and the city’s crowded clamour
cries aloud for sin to cease;
and the countryside and woodlands
plead in silence for their peace.

3)  Crown, O Lord, your own endeavour,
cleave our darkness with your sword,
cheer the faint and feed the hungry
with the richness of your word;
cleanse the body of this nation
through the glory of the Lord.
        ( by H S Holland 1847 to 1918)

Act of Commitment (all stand)

We commit ourselves this day to working with God’s Holy Spirit in bringing in God’s Kingdom.

Heavenly Father, you came in Jesus to bring good news to the poor, sight to the blind freedom to the captives, and salvation to your people. Anoint us with your Spirit and rouse us to work in his name.

Father, by your Spirit.

All: Bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor and freedom to the oppressed.

Farther, by your Spirit:

All: Bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world the good news of your healing love.

Farther, by your Spirit:

All: Bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here for you to save your people.

Farther, by your Spirit:

All: Bring in your kingdom.

Lord of the church:

All: Hear our prayer, and make us one in heart and mind

To serve you with joy for ever

Amen

Blessing 

Recessional Hymn: (during which the wreaths are returned. Please follow the cross-bearer out of Church and to the war memorial. 

We stand and we sing the:  National Anthem

  1. God save our gracious King!
    Long live our noble King!
    God save the King!
    Send him victorious,
    Happy and glorious,
    Long to reign over us,
    God save the King.
     
  1. Thy choicest gifts in store
    On him be pleased to pour,
    Long may he
    May he defend our laws,
    And ever give us cause,
    To sing with heart and voice,
    God save the King.
     

Our Recessional Hymn is – O God Our Help in Ages Past

  1. O God, our help in ages past,
    our hope for years to come,
    our shelter from the stormy blast,
    and our eternal home:

2,  Under the shadow of your throne
your saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is your arm alone,
and our defence is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,

  1. or earth received her frame,
    from everlasting you are God,
    to endless years the same.
  2. A thousand ages in your sight
    are like an evening gone;
    short as the watch that ends the night
    before the rising sun.
  3. Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
    bears all its sons away;
    they fly forgotten, as a dream
    dies at the opening day.
  4. Our God, our help in ages past,
    our hope for years to come:
    O be our guard while troubles last,
    and our eternal home.
    (by Isaac Watts, 1719)

© 702211.

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