How do we remember those slain in war?
What words hold the pain and sorrow of the bereaved? The dream and hope of the peacemaker? The promise of light and life after the devastation?
How do we avoid glorifying war and death, yet remember those killed and wounded, sometimes for meaningless quarrels of others?
How do we support veterans, yet confess the sins of our nations?
Some words of tradition can guide us. Some new sprung words can encourage us.
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.
The Ode comes from For the Fallen, a poem by the English poet and writer Laurence Binon and was published in London in ‘The
Winnowing Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914.’ This verse, which became the Ode for the Returned and Services League, has been
used in association with commemoration services in Australia since 1921.
God of our Mothers and Fathers,
we pray for the peace of the world.
We especially entrust to your mercy the homeless and refugees;
those who have been dispossessed through war;
those whose lives and families have been disrupted;
and who mourn the loss of loved ones.
We pray for countries who are war-torn even today.
May sanity return and kindness win through wherever there is warfare.
…we pray for the peace of the world. Especially e commend to your mercy the homeless and refugees; those who have been dispossessed and have lost their employment; those whose families have been disrupted and who mourn the loss of loved ones. We pray for the situation in [……..]. Grant that the sane and selfless councils may prevail in these places, and wherever there is warfare.
Gracious and loving God, As we mark the ANZAC Centenary, we remember all who lost their lives through Australia’s involvement in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. On ANZAC Day, we especially remember the courageous actions undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the First World War. On this national day of commemoration, we pray for the airmen, sailors and soldiers who died in battle, sacrificing their lives while on duty. We commemorate their bravery and pray for the families who lost loved ones. As we strive for peace in our country and world, help us to become instruments of your peace.
This prayer and others are available here. While not fully inclusive in language, most are easy to transpose.
Help us this day to remember the sacrifices of the first ANZAC’s
Australian and New Zealander,
And the generations of men, women and children
Who have died in the cause of liberty and peace
Help us to remember those who still bear
The physical and mental scars and disabilities of their service
Help us to remember the widows, girlfriends, parents and orphans
And all those who waited in vain for the return of a loved one
Help us to remember the mateship, agony, courage and
Compassion of war service, but save us from ever glorifying
The horror and tragedy of war.
Help us to remember.
Lest we forget!
Tune St. Anne AHB 46 TiS 47
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1. In contemplation on this day
Both pride and sadness grow;
We laud the courage on display;
Yet tears can overflow.
2. White crosses filling endless fields
Remind us of those lost;
We long for respite, that which shields
Us from war’s wicked cost.
3. We honour all who gave their life
And those who suffer still,
But yearn for ways to halt the strife,
And strength to find the will.
4. We can resolve to nourish peace,
To strive for equity;
To act with justice and increase
Our zeal for harmony.
5. Yet still the human spirit shines
Amidst this grief and pain;
We nurture, cherish that which binds,
So hopes for peace remain