This week we find ourselves preparing for … next week actually, Remembrance Day. This is not to take anything away from All Saints’ Day, which we celebrate in this Sunday’s service, commemorating the life and witness of the church’s saints and martyrs through the ages. But remembering the deaths of soldiers on November 11, our modern-day martyrs who gave all for their country, deserves special recognition and therefore preparation, falling as it does this year on a Sunday.
Our morning services will focus on Remembrance Day in the chosen readings and music, and in the sermon. At the 10:30 service we will join the rest of the nation who, in churches and at cenotaphs, will be observing two minutes of solemn remembrance at the 11th hour.
Then later in the day, at dusk, along with churches across the city, we will ring our bells to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Assisted by the 215th Strathcona Scouts and Venturers, we will ring our bell 100 times. You are invited to attend this solemn observance, framed by prayer and reflection, assembling in the narthex at 4:30 pm.
It is useful to recall that the word ‘remembrance’ has at its root the sense of reconstituting that which has been scattered, putting the pieces back together. When we remember the dead, we are gathering the disparate memories of their lives and of their loss so that their sacrifice is not lost to the wind, but hallowed anew.