As the season of remembrance approaches, the Church of England has helpfully produced a themed range of resources which are designed to encourage people to connect with their local church. The design features the flower, the forget-me-not. The flower’s colloquial name was first used in the English language during the reign of Henry IV back in the 14th century. It has since become a symbol for the masonic movement as well as providing a floral sign for remembering the German fallen in the last two wars.
Remembrance-tide includes All Souls’ as well as Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. At St Michael’s we are opening up the church for you to come and remember those that you have loved and see no longer. The church will be open from 4pm and you can stay for as long as you wish. There will be candles to light and different creative ways of remembering set up. It is all quite informal! At 5.30pm we will be holding a short contemplative service in which we will call out the names of the departed. You are welcome to stay for this service. (Please see the attached invitation). If you are unable to come, I am also attaching a card which supplies links to prayers and helpful resources. We will be keeping everybody safely distanced and you will be required to wear a face mask in church.
On Remembrance Sunday (8th November), we will be sending a small delegation to process out of church with a wreath of poppies (and some symbolic forget-me-nots if we can gather some) to the war memorial in the church hall gardens in Portland Road) to witness a short act of remembrance at 11am.
It is part of the Christian psyche to remember. Jesus’ most important instruction to his followers was to say, “do this in remembrance of me.” They were told to remember whenever they broke bread and drank wine at the table. These elements and actions – symbols at first – became the celebration of the real presence of Christ at the Eucharist. So the act of remembrance, for Christians, leads to a renewed path to life. We look back in order to live for today and tomorrow with fresh hope and gratitude.