Resources for Worship on Remembrance Sunday 2020

UPDATE November 7, 2020

Since this was written and posted four days ago the Greek government has imposed a new lockdown, in the effort to “short circuit” the increasing infections of Covid-19. Therefore, we will not be meeting in person at The Tabernacle on Sunday, November 8.

  • We will be meeting on Zoom. Please join us at about 10:50 am EET (8:50 am GMT). The https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85044839927?pwd=TkQ1cHEzNUNjSjVCNTNJVUJwSkZaQT09
    Meeting ID: 850 4483 9927 Passcode: 010209
    This is, in fact, the same link, Meeting ID, and Passcode for every service at St Thomas’s.
  • You can also watch the Remembrance Sunday observances on British television and online; the broadcast starts around 12:30 PM EET (which is 10:30 GMT). A link with more information may be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000pb0n .
  • The usual resources are below – links to readings, YouTube videos of the traditional Remembrance day hymns, a sermon on The Unknown Warrior I preached a few years ago, and prayers.
  • I have prepared a leaflet that can be printed on a single sheet and folded for anyone who wants to observe Remembrance Day on their own. It can be downloaded from here:

Thank you! I hope to see you on Zoom or to hear from you otherwise. Bruce +


These are resources for Remembrance Sunday, November 8, 2020. The resources are gathered from a variety of sources and, while assembled mainly for The Anglican Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Kefalas, on the island of Crete in Greece, others may find them useful.

A Note on Practices around Remembrance Day

The UK, Canada, and the United States all have similar different traditions around Remembrance Day.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth lays a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, in 2010.

In the United Kingdom there is usually an short observance on November 11th at 11:00 am, involving two minutes silence. Buses and other vehicles will stop and in many shops and streets people will stop for the duration,and on the various media there is portrayed scenes of observance around the world. In some places wreaths are then laid. The main commemoration is usually on the Sunday closest to November 11, which is called Remembrance Sunday. That is when the National Service of Remembrance takes place at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.

Remembrance Day in Toronto, Ontario in 2017

In Canada and other Commonwealth nations the main observances are all on November 11th. In Canada it is a federal holiday, as well as in six provinces and the three territories (not Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, or Manitoba). Every community in Canada, no matter how small, seems to have a service of remembrance, and in the past decade numbers have only increased. Schools in the provinces where the day is not a provincial holiday typically have school assemblies. Some churches also have services on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day which may or may not incorporate or replicate what happens on November 11th. Some have the Last Post, Two Minutes Silence, and Reveille, followed by wreath laying, others read off the names of person from the church that died in the war, and still others have readings and sermons relating to war and peace. In one church I served in we had an annual presentation from a local theatre school, which incorporated dramatic readings and music from the Second World War.

In the United States there already was a day for the commemoration of the dead, a federal holiday, namely Memorial Day, which began soon after the Civil War. It was formerly observed on May 30, but since 1970 it is on the last Monday of May (which often coincides with the Victoria Day holiday in Canada). The observance is marked by people going to cemeteries and decorating the graves with flags and wreaths of those who died while in the armed forces. It is also marked by parades and, rather incongruosly, sales in retail outlets. The observance of the Armistace in the US was transformed in 1954 to Veterans Day, and which honours all who have served in the US Armed Forces.

In Greece the major commemorations of the war dead are on March 25, Independence Day, which is the day that the War of Independence began in 1821, and October 28, Ohi Day, which remembers the one word response (Οχι, or “No”) supposedly uttered by Prime Minister Metaxas in 1941, when the Mussolini demanded that the Greeks allow Italian troops to occupy parts of the country. There are also local observances, such as the week long commemorations of the Battle of Crete held every year in late May. In Athens on Remembrance Sunday there is a gathering at the Phaleron War Cemetery, which is administered by Commonwealth War Graves. That service is officiated at by the chaplain of St Paul’s, Athens, and the service is well attended by the diplomatic corps in the capital and British, Greek, and Commonwealth citizens. Here on Crete we do the same annually at the Suda Bay War Cemetery, in a commemoration organized by a local committee.

Well, except this year. Typically we get several hundred people attending at Suda Bay War Cemetery, but with the pandemic on, this cannot be allowed to happen. As a result the organising committee (of which I am a part) encourages people who would normally attend to do a private observation of two minutes silence, and perhaps to visit the cemetery on Sunday or on Wednesday, November 11th. Wreaths will be laid by designated individuals at the Cross of Honour in the cemetery, but not at any one time.

Meanwhile, we at St Thomas, Kefalas will have a Sunday service of Holy Communion as normal, but with an observance of remembrance at the beginning. So as to have the silence at 11:00 am, we ask that people arrive no later than ten minutes before.

Read

Instead of the readings appointed for the Third Sunday before Advent (The Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 27) we will be using some alternate readings more suitable for Remembrance Sunday. They are: Wisdom 3.1–9, Psalm 3, Revelation 21.1–7, and John 6.51–58.

Reflect

I preached this sermon on a Remembrance Sunday in Canada. I will post this Sunday’s sermon soon after I preach it. Last week’s sermon for All Saints can be found by clicking here.

Pray

There are many resources in Common Worship: Times and Seasons from which hre are some.

A Collect
Ever-living God,
we remember those whom you have gathered from the storm of war
into the peace of your presence;
may that same peace calm our fears,
bring justice to all peoples
and establish harmony among the nations,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All   Amen.

An Intercession
Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of conflict,
and ask that God may give us peace:
for the service men and women
who have died in the violence of war,
each one remembered by and known to God;
may God give peace.
All   God give peace.

For those who love them in death as in life,
offering the distress of our grief
and the sadness of our loss;
may God give peace.
All   God give peace.

For all members of the armed forces
who are in danger this day,
remembering family, friends
and all who pray for their safe return;
may God give peace.
All   God give peace.

For civilian women, children and men
whose lives are disfigured by war or terror,
calling to mind in penitence
the anger and hatreds of humanity;
may God give peace.
All   God give peace.

For peacemakers and peacekeepers,
who seek to keep this world secure and free;
may God give peace.
All   God give peace.

For all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership,
political, military and religious;
asking for gifts of wisdom and resolve
in the search for reconciliation and peace;
may God give peace.
All   God give peace.

O God of truth and justice,
we hold before you those whose memory we cherish,
and those whose names we will never know.
Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,
and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.
As we honour the past,
may we put our faith in your future;
for you are the source of life and hope, now and for ever.
All   Amen.

Biddings

Biddings
I bid your prayers for the Church:

I bid your prayers for the leaders and people of the nations; especially

  • Katerini Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece, and
  • Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and her other realms, and also in her role as Governor of the Church of England;
  • In the European Union,
    • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission;
    • Charles Michel, President of the European Council; and
    • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy;
  • For negotiations around Brexit;
  • the peoples of Belarus, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and Thailand as they continue to demonstrate for democracy and justice;
  • for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and between Russia and Ukraine;
  • for the peoples of the United States in the wake of the elections on Tuesday;
  • for advocates of Indigenous rights and the adoption and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • prisoners and captives, especially the over one million Uigers being held in detention in China;
  • for a lessening of tensions between Turkey and Greece; and
  • for peace in Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, and between Palestinians and Israelis.

I bid your prayers for the sick and suffering and all who minister to their needs;

  • remembering the over 12 million active cases of the novel coronavirus, and mourning with the families of the over 1.2 million who have died in the pandemic;
  • for the one million people in the UK with covid-19, the 47,000 who have died of it there, and the 31,000 active cases here in Greece, and the families of the over 640 dead here;
  • and also remembering those ill with other diseases, and those whose operations have been postponed;
  • the over 79.5 million refugees and nearly 4 million stateless person, remembering especially the crucial situation of Greece.

Sing

We will be singing the Royal Anthem and the Greek National Anthem. In case you’ve forgotten them, here they are.

The Royal Anthem

God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen!

The National Anthem of Greece

Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν: Hymn of Liberty

Σε γνωρίζω από την κόψη
Του σπαθιού την τρομερή,
Σε γνωρίζω από την όψη,
Που με βιά μετράει τη γη.

Απ’ τα κόκκαλα βγαλμένη
Των Ελλήνων τα ιερά,
Και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένη,
Χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά!

Και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένη,
Χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά!

Και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένη,
Χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά!

Se gnorízo apó tin kópsi
Tou spathioú tin tromerí,
Se gnorízo apó tin ópsi,
Pou me viá metráei ti gi.

Ap’ ta kókkala vgalméni
Ton Ellínon ta ierá,
Kai san próta andreioméni,
Chaíre, o chaíre, eleftheriá!

Kai san próta andreioméni,
Chaíre, o chaíre, eleftheriá!

Kai san próta andreioméni,
Chaíre, o chaíre, eleftheriá!

We will not be singing the National Anthem of Canada this year, but we did so last year when the Canadian Ambassador to Greece came to Suda Bay to lay a wreath on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians. Here is a version in eleven languages spoken in Canada.

We shall also sing some hymns traditionally sung at these times.

About Bruce Bryant-Scott

Canadian. Husband. Father. Christian. Recovering Settler. A priest of the Church of England, Diocese in Europe, on the island of Crete in Greece. More about me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-bryant-scott-4205501a/
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