Hymns and war – conflicting views
Remembering conscientious objectors
StF+ has published a number of hymns that add to, and complement, those already in Singing the Faith:
- A century passes, memories will fade and Once crimson poppies bloomed (Andrew Pratt)
- We stand for brave and selfless friends (Gareth Hill)
- And, most recently, Lord we recall your words (Andrew Brown)
If you are celebrating Holy Communion on Remembrance Sunday, you may wish to use Dominic Grant’s hymn, Poppies to remember, with its thought-provoking reference to red, white and purple poppies.
As reminders that violence still breaks out painfully and menacingly, and that peaceful relations are still to be prayed for, you may wish to consider Vince Gilbert’s We shall make peace (to the tune “Finlandia”) and Andrew Pratt’s heartfelt response to racist murders in Charleston , South Carolina, in June 2015, A world once rent by turmoil:
God give us grace to cherish
your love above each creed,
to value every neighbour
through thought and word and deed.
For younger people
The BBC website has a wide range of resources focussing on World War One, designed for use with young people in different age groups.
Service orders and prayers
Beyond our Tears: resources for times of remembrance (CTBI) includes a wide range of prayers, poems, hymns and music (by Gerry Fitzpatrick and Noel S. Donnelly) for Remembrance Sunday. In addition, it draws together stories and memorial services recalling and marking local and national tragedies – from the Aberfan disaster (1966) and Dunblane massacre (1996) to the 2003 Service of Remembrance at St Paul’s Cathedral for all who died in Iraq.
Remembrance Sunday Worship Material produced by the Baptist Peace Fellowship whose members ally themselves “with those who seek nonviolent means to confront and overcome injustice”. (Download as a PDF) One member of the Fellowship, Norman Kember, became internationally known in 2005 when taken hostage while volunteering with a delegation of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.
John Miller’s Silent Heroes, available from Saint Andrew Press or Amazon. Each Remembrance Sunday, for twenty years, John Miller interviewed an older member of his Church of Scotland congregation in Castlemilk about their experiences of the Second World War. These humane, honest inteviews, all collected here, were a way, says John, of connecting experiences of the past with the boys and girls of the uniformed organisations gathered together for this service.