Worship for Sunday 14th November 2021, by Rev. Joy Rulton

Remembrance Sunday 2021

This Sunday is about remembering. It is important to remember not only to learn the lessons of the past and to honour those who lost their lives in war, but also look to the future. We commit ourselves to work for peace and justice for all people.

Call to worship:

May God be with you

And also with you

If you come in certainty or in confusion,

in anger or in anguish
This time is for us
If you come in silent suffering

or hidden sorrow, in pain or promise
This time is for us
If you come for your own or another’s need,
for private wound or the wound of the world
This time is for us all
If you come, and do not know why, but to be here is enough
This time is for us all
Come now, Christ of the forgiving warmth
Come now, Christ of the yearning tears
Come now, Christ of the transforming touch
This time is for us all
Let us worship God.


Hymn:  StF 55

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might,
thy justice like mountains high soaring above
thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life thou givest, to both great and small.
In all life thou livest, the true life of all.
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight.
All praise we would render; O help us to see
‘tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.


We have come together into your presence, Lord,
to worship and adore you, to praise your holy name
and to marvel at your deeds.
We have come before you to confess our weakness and folly,
past and present, as individuals and as a nation,
as citizens of the world and as citizens of your kingdom of love.
Judge the world with justice and equity, Lord,
and may your saving righteousness be seen by all the nations.

As we marvel at all you have created,
we are mindful that what you made beautiful we have spoiled.
We are mindful that we have ignored the checks and balances
you built into the universe and brought destruction upon ourselves
and all that lives and all that is.
Judge the world with justice and equity, Lord,
and may your saving righteousness be seen by all the nations.

Lord God,
as we consider how you love us to the uttermost in Christ,
how you have such a care for us that every hair on our heads is counted,
we are deeply ashamed.
For we see how our lack of love and compassion,
how our greed and selfishness and sheer stupidity,
have brought hurt and harm and horror worldwide.
Judge the world with justice and equity, Lord,
and may your saving righteousness be seen by all the nations.

Lord God, on this day when we remember the fallen of countless wars,
call all the nations to repentance,
move in the hearts of tyrants and terrorists,
move in the hearts of the leaders of the nations,
move in the hearts of those who stir up hatred and division.
Judge the world with justice and equity, Lord,
and may your saving righteousness be seen by all the nations.

Lord God, as we move forward into a new week,
lead us in your ways of justice, mercy and truth.
Enable us to walk in peace and love, one with the other,
and encourage us by your word, your presence and by the power of the Holy Spirit,
to live by the values you expect of citizens of your kingdom
Judge the world with justice and equity, Lord,
and may your saving righteousness be seen by all the nations.
For we ask it in the name of Jesus.


Hymn:   StF 703

In an age of twisted values,

we have lost the truth we need.

In sophisticated language,

we have justified our greed.

By our struggle for possessions,

we have robbed the poor and weak.

Hear our cry and heal our nation;

your forgiveness, Lord, we seek.

We have built discrimination

on our prejudice and fear.

Hatred swiftly turns to cruelty,

if we hold resentments dear.

For communities divided

by the walls of class and race,

hear our cry and heal our nation;

show us, Lord, your love and grace.

When our families are broken,

when our homes are full of strife,

when our children are bewildered,

when they lose their way in life,

when we fail to give the aged

all the care we know they need,

hear our cry and heal our nation;

help us show more love, we plead.

We who hear your word so often

choose so rarely to obey.

Turn us from our wilful blindness;

give us truth to light our way.

In the power of your Spirit

come to cleanse us, make us new;

hear our cry and heal our nation

till our nation honours you.

C: 1999 Kevin Mayhew Ltd.



John 15:12-13

In John’s gospel Jesus says, “Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Stand if possible

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning,
we will remember them.

We will remember them

2 minutes silence

The Kohima Epitaph

When you go home tell them of us and say:
‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today’.

Hymn:    Tune: St Anne – O God our help in ages past

We cannot crow in victory
when faced with human loss.
our actions will be judged against
the crisis of the cross.

The people who have lost their lives
leave brothers, sisters, friends.
The time that we will greet as peace
brings grief that never ends.

We are one body under God,
we share humanity;
the loss of one depletes us all
and clouds eternity.

Then let our worship bear the marks
of honesty and fear,
as humble penitential prayer
pervades the atmosphere.

May God forgive our recklessness,
dishonesty and lust,
May God forgive our lack of love.
May God rebuild our trust.

Andrew Pratt © Stainer & Bell Ltd.


Micah 4:1-5

In days to come
    the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
    and many nations shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob; 
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
    and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
    and no one shall make them afraid;
    for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

For all the peoples walk,
    each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
    forever and ever.

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


I always approach Remembrance Day with a certain amount of trepidation. Who am I to stand here and speak to those of you who have far more experience of war and its consequences than I do? Some of you may have seen horrors and had to deal with situations that no-one should have cope with. My grandfather was captured at Tobruk during World War 2. I only recently found out that he was sent into a Jewish camp to remove the bodies. No wonder he never talked about it. How could I have possibly understood what he went through? On Remembrance Day we are reminded of the price of peace and commit ourselves to working for a better future.

It’s not always easy remembering. Some things are easy to remember, no problem, but others just seem to slip our memory. Other things from our past we would often prefer to forget. Often it seems to be the things we most need to remember that escape us.

Today we remember those who have died or been through wars past and present. Some of you will have a personal memory of losing family, friends or colleagues, but for many of us it will be an inherited memory, passed down from one generation to the next.

We remember the dreadful cost of war. But there is often great sadness at the devastation and compassion for those who are caught up in the conflict whatever side they’re on. One young man we know went to Afghanistan and came back a very different person. Pictures of the men, women and children caught up in war appear on our television screens day after day, perhaps while we’re sitting comfortably on the sofa, cup of tea in hand.

Jesus was born into an occupied land. He lived and died in that land. The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come. They expected him to overthrow the Roman invader by violent means. Yet Jesus came and taught a better way. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”

His message didn’t suit the Pharisees and religious leaders because it threatened the status quo and he didn’t fit their idea of an all-conquering Messiah. The local Roman authorities were only worried for themselves. Any unrest would reflect badly on them. So Jesus died for us in an act of deepest darkest violence. We know that three days later he rose again. Good Friday had to come before the glory of Easter Sunday.

We can’t afford to forget the past. But Remembrance Day also reminds that we have a duty to the future. We are all made in the image of God and it reminds us how far we are from being Christ like.

There have always been wars, slaughter and turmoil. Yet 2,500 years ago the prophet Micah had a vision, a hope for the future: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” He didn’t talk of throwing away the spear and sword. He dreamed of reshaping them.

It would be too easy standing here now to underestimate the pain and complexity of changing things for the better. It’s costly. The making of peace needs our prayer and personal commitment if it’s not just something that going to stay on our wish list. To quote Christina le Moignan,

“In Christ there is unlimited peace-making, and with him his brothers and sisters can be peace-makers too.”


We lay our broken world
In sorrow at your feet,
Haunted by hunger, war and fear,
Oppressed by power and hate.

Where human life seems less
That profit, might and pride,
Though to unite us all in you
You lived and loved and died.

We bring our broken towns,
Our neighbours hurt and bruised;
You show us how old pain and wounds
For new life can be used.

We bring our broken hopes
For lives of dignity;
Workless and overworked you love
And call us to be free.

We bring our broken loves,
Friends parted, families torn;
Then in your life and death we see
That love must be reborn.

We bring our broken selves,
Confused and closed and tired;
Then through your gift of healing grace
New purpose is inspired.

O Spirit, on us breathe,
With life and strength anew;
Find in us love, and hope and trust,
And lift us up to you.

C: Words: Anna Briggs Music: 2010 Paul Leddington Wright)

Intercession & The Lord’s Prayer

As we remember those who have died in past wars,
so we pray too for those still dying today… 
and for those who grieve…..
God of the past be our future peace.

We remember those living in countries
where civil war is destroying communities
and making enemies of neighbours,

where fear and violence dominate every aspect of daily living…
God of today be our future peace.

We remember those who have been injured and traumatised
by the brutality of war ,
especially those robbed of their childhood
by what they have seen or been forced to do …
God of tomorrow be our future peace.

We remember those who are peacemakers,
those who negotiate,
those who speak out at great cost to themselves and their families…
God of the future, be our eternal peace.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
 the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.



As Jesus taught us,

we commit ourselves

to welcome strangers,

to care for the poor,

to love our neighbours as ourselves

and to work for justice.

We commit ourselves

to work for peace:

in our homes,

in our communities,

and in our world. Amen.


Christ has called us to each other

Linked in one humanity

Colour, culture, class or gender

Break the chains to set us free.

Hold the hand of friend or stranger

Hold the dreams of age and youth

Hold the cynic and the searcher

As we journey to the truth.

Christ has challenged every motive

And disturbed all stale belief

Re-imagining the future

Scattering vision, healing grief.

Open doors will welcome homeless

Open eyes will see the need

Open hands will work in friendship

Sharing love instead of greed.


Christ will use all that we offer

Build the Kingdom in this space

Living stones of strength and weakness

Each unique and in its place

Art and science, thoughts and actions

Human struggles, near and far

Christ transforms and answers questions

In our search for whom we are.


Christ has called us to this moment

Time of change and new ideas

Re-imagining the future

Bringing hope, despite our fears.

Open minds explore potential

Open arms embrace each child

Open hearts live out his purpose-

All creation reconciled.

© 2017 Beverley Humphreys


The desert will sing and rejoice

And the wilderness blossom with flowers.

All will see the Lord’s splendour

See the Lord’s greatness and power.

Tell everyone who is anxious

Be strong and don’t be afraid.

The blind will be able to see

The deaf will be able to hear.

The lame will leap and dance

Those who can’t speak will shout.

They will hammer their swords into ploughs

And their spears into pruning-knives

The nations will live in peace

They will train for war no more.

This is the promise of God

God’s promise will be fulfilled. Amen.



May the blessing of God Almighty,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all you love.

and all for whom you pray,

this day and for evermore.



  CCL No: 57681