Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembering all our dead

Today has been a very busy one.

Beginning with our shortened version of the Eucharist.  Not quite as much singing as usual, followed by the procession through the cobbled streets of the old town, to the market square for the Remembrance Service.  A lot of singing, fortunately for once, in brilliant sunshine.

Aylesbury has a huge turnout for this service with all the armed forces heavily represented, the British Legion,
Salvation Army, Boys Brigade and just about every other service, uniformed and otherwise,  The local MPs Town Councillors and past councillors are all there to swell the crowds.

The service itself is led by our (that is, St. Mary's) rector and other clergy all have their part to play.

By the time we stumble back over the cobbles, everyone tends to be tired and in need of sustenance.

This year, the Rector had kindly arranged for us to be fed and watered, greatly appreciated and giving us the opportunity of resting in comfort before this afternoon's Service of Light.

While many others of my age lost relatives in the 2nd World War, the afternoon service gives us the chance to remember all those others who have touched our lives, significantly or fleetingly, and who are no longer with us.

I found the  prayers interspersed with beautiful chants wonderful and very moving, with the lighting of individual candles open to all.

This is remembering in a very special way and for me the mix is just right,

A lovely, sometimes very sad, but spiritually uplifting way to honour all our dead.


  1. What a helpful way of combining Remembrance Sunday with All Souls, Ray. I've never seen it done this way, but it's such a good idea and I'm very glad it worked so well for you. We usually have our service of light the week before Remembrance Sunday.

  2. And it sounds like a time of hope as well.

  3. It is a good combination and since the Service of Light tends to attract only a small congregation, it allows the feeling of peace and tranquility to
    fill the large empty space.
    For me it has the affect of calming down the heightened emotions of the two earlier services, by allowing time for quiet reflection.
    Perhaps you might suggest it as an alternative way next year Perpetua.
    When our Rector gets things right they tend to be very right. He seems to have a sense of what will work.

  4. Not sure about hope Freda, but it slows life down to a less frenetic pace - even if only temporarily - and that must be a good thing.

  5. How did you cope with your memories?

  6. With a degree of sadness obviously, but also with a sort of quiet acceptance which is slowly becoming the 'norm'.
    The realization that everyone there has experienced loss in some form or another lends a feeling of shared understanding and mutual support.

  7. There is a lot of benefit in this sort of service that allows us peaceful and meaningful reflection.

  8. I agree Sue, and since I sing in the choir, however much I might enjoy doing that, the need to be aware of 'what comes next' takes over from any chance to be quiet and simply be.
    Don't misunderstand me, I love taking part in all the services, but they do tend to become a series of exercises rather than an opportunity to worship.