8 November 2020: Remembrance Sunday

A Service of readings, music and prayers for peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers
For they are the children of God”

At this time of remembrance let us set aside time to pray for God’s gift of peace and reconciliation; for peace in the world, peace in the communities where we live, work and serve, peace in our homes and in our hearts.

Opening Prayer:

God our Father, you sent your Son Jesus to show us the way to a true and lasting peace. Open our minds and hearts to hear Christ’s message of peace and love, always ready to follow His example: Amen

Song

Peace is flowing like a river, Flowing out through you and me; Flowing out into the desert, Setting all the captives free.

Love is flowing like a river, Flowing out through you and me;
Flowing out into the desert,
Setting all the captives free.

Joy is flowing like a river,
Flowing out through you and me;
Flowing out into the desert,
Setting all the captives free.

Peace is flowing like a river,
Flowing out through you and me;
Flowing out into the desert,
Setting all the captives free.
[Music: Traditional /Words: Anonymous]

Father of peace,
You have shared your heart with us – but we have closed our hearts to you:
Lord, have mercy.

Christ our King of Peace,
You came as God’s priceless Word – but we have turned away to seek wordly wealth:
Christ, have mercy.

Holy Spirit,
bringer of inclusive love and peace,
Through you Christ lives in us – but we fail to fully love our neighbour as ourselves:
Lord, have mercy.

We seek forgiveness

Gracious God, slow to anger, swift to bless, forgive us, restore us.
Grant us hearts that stand firm, a faith that is strong and a hope that endures.
Amen

Words from Psalm 85

I will listen to what God the Lord says, he promises peace to his peoples.
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth and justice looks down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.
Righteousness goes before him and peace shall follow his steps.

A Reading from Isaiah 2;3-4
Read by Hazel Moore

Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Song

Peace I give to you my friends
Peace the world can never know,
Given now to share with each other
Peace I give to you my friends.

Love I give to you my friends
Love the world can never know,
Given now to share with each other
Love I give to you my friends.

Joy I give to you my friends
Joy the world can never know,
Given now to share with each other
Joy I give to you my friends.
[Music & words © 1987 Anthony Sharpe]

A reading from Colossians
{read by Enid Plowman}

Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God.

St Paul’s letter applies as much to us today as it did to the early Christians over 2000 years ago: the call to put to good use all the gifts and attributes that are blessings from God – to centre our lives on seeking, and striving, for unity and peace giving thanks to God for Jesus, who set us the example of how to dwell together and serve each other.

We cry out for peace yet what part can we play in sharing Christ’s message in action, word and deed?
From great sacrifices as in war, to the silent prayer for the neighbour in need, all are in their own way responses to the call to:
Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, since as members of one body we are called to strive for peace.
And whatever we do, whether in word or deed, to always do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, never forgetting to give thanks to God for the opportunities to be channels of His peace that passes all understanding.

We hold a moment of silence before listening to version of the hymn ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ [arranged by John Rutter - sung by St Martin-in-the-Fields choral scholars]

O Master grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console…..
Beautiful words yet we all know that sometimes life’s circumstances mean that we are the ones who need to be consoled, loved and understood – here is a prayer for just those times:

‘Peace’ by St Francis de Sales

Be at peace,
Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. Amen.

A Reading from John 15:9-13
{read by Alan Jenkins LLM}

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this:
Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Time of prayer:
our prayer will be interspersed by verses from ‘Peace, perfect peace’
Words and Music © Kevin Mayhew Ltd.]

Lord of the living and of the dead:
We pray that the memory of the destruction to human life caused by wars between nations will ever strengthen and determine our efforts to live in peace and unity.

Peace, perfect peace
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Peace, perfect peace
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Thus, says the Lord,
will the world know my friends,
Peace, perfect peace
is the gift of Christ our Lord.

Lord of the past, present and the future:
We pray that the memory of those who died for the sake of others will inspire our attempts to be channels of peace, lead us by your Spirit to love as you have loved us.

Love, perfect peace
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Love, perfect love
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Thus, says the Lord,
will the world know my friends,
Love, perfect love
is the gift of Christ our Lord.

Lord our companion and our guide:
We pray for greater justice in the world,
lead us on to the time when our prayers for peace and restoration may be answered for we hold your hope in our hearts.

Hope, perfect hope
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Hope, perfect hope
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Thus, says the Lord,
will the world know my friends,
Hope, perfect hope
is the gift of Christ our Lord.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And 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

Faith, perfect faith
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Faith, perfect faith
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Thus, says the Lord,
will the world know my friends,
Faith, perfect faith
is the gift of Christ our Lord.

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, ever more. Amen

With thanksgiving and joy in our hearts, let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Joy, perfect joy
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Joy, perfect joy
is the gift of Christ our Lord
Thus, says the Lord,
will the world know my friends,
Joy, perfect joy
is the gift of Christ our Lord.

Thank you to Hazel Moore, Enid Plowman and Alan Jenkins for sharing in the readings.
And thank you to Sophie Aynsley for the instrumental accompaniment for our worship.
St James’ West End holds CCLI Licence number: 109591
The service was devised and led by Carol Kidd LLM

‘All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you. (1 Chronicles 29:14) We ask your blessing on what we offer, which is given in thanksgiving for your many blessings and for all you have done for us’.

The pre-recorded service is available from 6.30pm on Sunday and will be shown here. It will also be available on the Church's Facebook page.