This weekend, as I lead prayers at the War Memorial in the centre of Peterborough on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, I will use two prayers which I wrote at the beginning of this commemoration in 2014.
The first reflects that, while we recall war with Germany, they have been our friends and partners for over 70 years. So, likewise we pray that those with whom there is conflict now we will come to share with them in a new tomorrow.
The second was written to mark the 100th anniversary of the events which led to war and warns that we take stock of that, the cost, and being mindful of the road that leads to death and destruction we don’t forget so that we don’t travel it once more.
100th anniversary of World War 1
God, who in Christ,
came to reconcile the world to yourself
redeeming all that had been lost in sin and division;
hear our prayer for all who fought,
from this nation and the Commonwealth,
and also from nations once our enemies
but now our friends and partners,
that those with whom we are in conflict now
may likewise come to share with us in a new tomorrow
where peace and concord reign
and all may flourish in the freedom and purpose of your love
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lest we forget
As we stand in solemn silence
and recall the terrible cost of war and conflict
give us courage to take stock
of all that led to the hour;
the evil intent,
the opportunities to step aside
and embrace a different path not taken,
the confrontation and aggression
with violence in the heart
that would not stop.
May we learn to build true peace;
to nurture the channels and bonds that unite;
to respect and honour all people,
however different they may be.
Keep us ever mindful of the road that leads to death and destruction
lest we forget and travel it once more.
For the greater love that lays down its life
in your Son, the Prince of Peace,
won for us eternal hope
and a Kingdom built on true justice;
we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
© Ian Black 2014