Open Table service — Remembrance Sunday

Open Table Logo

Open Table Worship

– using inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued.

— prepared by Ana Gobledale, UK

 

Theme: Remembrance Sunday (UK) — Building Peace

This is a full service including scripture, conversation, prayer, Acts of Remembrance and communion. A variety of resources have been included.

This interactive and engaging service has been designed for use on the Sunday near 11 November.

Compiled & written by Ana Gobledale for Open Table

Worship Leader’s Sheets

The Leader’s Sheets include most parts of the service (the readings and reflection may be printed separately from this web page) in a ready-to-print and use format.  The DOC documents may be tweaked easily to fit the local situation. PDF documents are included for ease of printing.

PDF Remembrance Sunday Leaders Sheets – Open Table

WORD-Remembrance Sunday-Leaders-Sheets — Open-Table

Order of service

An outline of the service provides an overview of the full service.

PDF Remembrance Sunday Outline of service – Open Table

WORD-Remembrance Sunday-Outline of service — Open-Table

 

Coffee & Chat

Gathering

Looking into the Bible                                  Deuteronomy 32:7     

Sing   a familiar song/hymn on the theme of peace

Looking into the Bible -conversation                      Isaiah 2:1-5    

Acts of Remembering

     Choose one, two or all three, or parts thereof:

Act of Remembering 1:  Kohima Epitaph and Last Post

Act of Remembering 2:  white feathers remembering those who refuse 

Act of Remembering 3: lighting candles for peace and in memory

The Lord’s Prayer

Looking into the Bible – conversation                     James 3:13-18

Sing!    leading into communion  

Celebration of communion:

Invitation to Communion

Prayer of confession & Words of Assurance (optional)

Words of Remembrance: the communion story

Prayer

Breaking of the Bread  & Pouring of the cup  

Blessing & Sharing of the Bread and Juice

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Sing!    on the theme of peace and/or thanksgiving

Closing Prayer         

Going into the world to build peace with Lego™ bricks

Closing act

            Have another cuppa?

            Shake hands?

            Slip away quietly?

            Whatever is comfortable for the group and for the individuals.

 

Handout worship guide

A ready-to-print handout worship guide (service sheet) has been created for your use.  While it is not a complete Order of Service, it does include all participant readings.

PDF – Remembrance Sunday Handout – Open Table

WORD-Remembrance Sunday-Handout — Open-Table

Centre piece on each table: Remembrance Day-related items, e.g. poppies (red and white), small wooden crosses  (White peace poppies will be available from the local Quaker/Friends Meeting House)

 

 

Readings: Place a copy of a reading, or a Bible marked at the reading, or printed handouts, in the centre of each table.

Bible translations: suggested are The Inclusive Bible: the first Egalitarian Translation 2007 by Priests for Equality;  New Revised Standard Version; or The Message.  Ideally, have all three available. NRSV provides the scholarly translation and TM provides an interpretation in modern vernacular. The Inclusive Bible provides a ready-to-read inclusive language translation, sometimes quite thought provoking.

Other supplies:

  • Basket of Lego™ bricks, enough for everyone
  • White feathers, enough for everyone (for Act of Remembering 2), in a bowl or basket
  • Candles to light (one lit candle to use for lighting others)
  • Communion elements:  juice – or grapes – and bread to be shared (gluten free and non-alcoholic, so no one is excluded).
  • CD of Last Post, or horn player
  • If the service will include the hour of 11:00 am, the proceedings may be interrupted for the two minutes of silence.  This section of the liturgy is in a box and can be moved as appropriate.

Order of Service

Look at the items in the centre of your table (Remembrance Day items).

Questions for discussion around the tables:

  • How do you feel about Remembrance Day?
  • Whom do you remember on Remembrance Day? Why?  How?
  • What might we do to be better Peacemakers?

Purpose: to establish as a group; to each fully arrive, moving from the outside world to being fully present here; to get to know names; to affirm one another as God’s creation.

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey you are welcome here at Open Table.

All:  We are here.  We are who we are.

Introduce yourself using only your first name, then saying either:

 ‘I am here.’ or ‘I am who I am,’ or both.

If a response is desired, everyone responds with the affirmation:

All:  You are who you are, created by God.

                          

Ask someone to read the passage from a Bible on the table, from their own Bible or from a printout. 

Hear the ancient words of our faith from the Hebrew

scripture, Deuteronomy, chapter 32, verse 7:

Remember the days of old,

consider the years long past;

ask your mother and father, they will inform you;

your elders, and they will tell you.

Today’s service of remembrance uses suggestions from both the British Legion and Churches Together in Britain.

As we think of those who have died in conflict, we pray for peace.

Choose a familiar song/hymn on the theme of peace.

Note: These hymns do not necessarily use inclusive language.

O Let us spread the Pollen of Peace

We pray for peace (verses 1,2,5,6)

Make me a channel of your peace

Put peace into each other’s hands

Gonna lay down my sword and shield

Ask someone to read the passage from a Bible on the table, from their own Bible or from a printout. 

To be inclusive in its language, the Bible passage has been slightly altered from the New Revised Standard Version.

Isaiah 2,1-5 ready-to-print

The word that Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw

concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come, the mountain of the GOD’s house

shall be established as the highest of the mountains.

 It shall be raised above the hills.

All the nations shall stream to it.

   Many peoples shall come and say,

‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of God,

   to the house of the God of Jacob.

that God may teach us the way.

And that we may walk in God’s paths.’

For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,

   and the word of God from Jerusalem.

God shall judge between the nations,

   and shall arbitrate for many peoples.

They shall beat their swords into ploughshares.

   And their spears, into pruning-hooks.

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

   neither shall they learn war any more.

 O house of Jacob,

   Come, let us walk in the light of God

 

Here ends the reading.

May God bless us with understanding.

There are three ‘Acts of Remembering.’

You might choose one, two, all three, or parts thereof. 

  1. The traditional words of the Kohima Epitaph and the playing of The Last Post are included in the first Act of Remembering.
  2. The second Act of Remembering involves interacting with white feathers to remember those who refuse to fight and are accused of cowardice. 
  3. The third Act of Remembering involves lighting candles for peace and in memory of those who have died or been wounded, civilian and military, in wars and conflicts.

PDF Act of Remembering 1

WORD Act of Remembering 1

Readers: any two readers, ideally a veteran and a young person.

Veteran:  They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

Young person:  At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Leader: And let the people say, We will remember them:

All:    We will remember them.

Two Minutes Silence – at 11:00 am  (or any chosen time)

Leader:  During this two minutes of silence, we remember.     Silence –

The Last Post  (start at exactly 2 minutes)on trumpet or CD

The Kohima Epitaph – [recited by the Veteran]

When you go home, tell them of us and say,

for your tomorrow, we gave our today.

(source unknown)

Prop: White feathers

Leader:  I invite you to take a white feather and hold it in the palm of your hand. Cradle it, as a child in a crib, a baby in a manger.

White feathers were given to those who did not volunteer. Those who refused to fight.  Receiving the white feather was an accusation of cowardice. We acknowledge this harsh treatment. Today, the Quakers, always peacemakers, and many of whom have registered as conscientious objectors, so-called ‘cowards’ in war, invite us to wear white poppies, rather than red, as a symbol of peace, a commitment to peace.

Conversations: Questions and responses might be shared in pairs or threes.  Assure everyone that there will be neither plenary nor feedback time.

  • Would you have received a white feather?
  • Would you have delivered it to others?
  • What does it mean to follow the Prince of Peace?
  • Referring to Isaiah 2, what does it mean to ‘beat our swords into ploughshares’?
  • How do we reconcile our commitment to peace and our commitment to ‘keep the peace’?

 

Prayer for peace

Holy Spirit, Dove of Peace,

 

Created from a hundred white feathers,

you hover over the world

Refusing to engage in the chaos,

Bringing order and peace to this world.

Send us peace.

Holy Spirit, you came to the disciples

gathered in fear in the Upper Room.

You did not condemn them when they cowered.

You calmed them with the choice of peace.

Inspire and guide us when we are faced with change.

Send us peace.

Holy Spirit, giver of life and love,

help us to build your kin-dom, your family,

showering upon all,like the white feathers from a dove,

the gifts of gentleness, self-control, love, joy and peace.

 

Light a candle

We light this candle as a symbol of remembrance, peace and hope.

 

 

Sharing & Caring – Bringing light into our world

As we meditate upon peace, if you would like to light a candle, to either celebrate an area of peace/reconciliation/ hope, or to express concern about an area of conflict/war/violence, please do so at this time.

You might take this opportunity to light a candle for anyone known to you, military or civilian, who has died or been wounded in time of war or conflict.

If you would like to share your prayer focus, feel free to share aloud with the group, or you may light a candle in silence.

Time for quiet reflection

Prayer

Spirit of Love,

we remember those whom you have gathered

from the storm of war into the peace of your presence.

May that same peace calm our fears,

bring justice to all peoples

and establish harmony among the nations.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Use Bibles on tables or printouts; use multiple readers, reading 1-3 verses each.

To be inclusive in its language, the Bible passage has been slightly altered from the New Revised Standard Version.

James 3,13-18 ready-to-print

Who is wise and understanding among you?

Show by your good life,

that your works are done with gentleness, born of wisdom.

But if you have bitter envy,

and selfish ambition in your hearts,

do not be boastful, and false to the truth.

Such wisdom does not come down from above,

but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.

For where there is envy and selfish ambition,

there will also be disorder,

and wickedness of every kind.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits,

without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace,

for those who make peace.

Here ends the reading.  May God bless us with understanding.

 

Conversations:  Questions and responses might be shared in pairs or threes.  Assure everyone that there will be neither plenary nor feedback time.

  • What are the elements of ‘wisdom from above’?
  • What wisdom of our world might be described as ‘wisdom from above’?
  • What wisdom of our world seems to oppose ‘wisdom from above’?
  • How do you ‘make peace’?

Conversations: going deeper   optional, if time allows

Consider these questions about peace:

  • Who offers you a model of a wise and good life?
  • How are you an example of a wise and good life?
  • Where is God calling you to change to be more in tune with ‘wisdom from above’ and to lead a ‘good life’?

 

A song to lead into communion  

a familiar reflective song/hymn on the theme of communion

 

 

Invitation to Communion 

The table is set for our special meal.

The bread and juice, prepared and presented, are ready to be served and shared.

Everyone is invited to this celebration.

We remember Jesus sharing a meal like this with his disciples, his friends.

He includes everyone, those he can trust and those he cannot trust.

Today we are his disciples, his friends. Each one of us is welcome.

How amazing it is to be loved and wanted even when we have not been perfect.

How wonderful it is to be included as we are.

The bread is gluten free and the juice is non-alcoholic so that all may partake freely.

No one is excluded from this meal.

Prayer of confession (optional)

As we approach this meal of mystery in the hope and promise of inner peace,

we admit our shortcomings and failures.

I invite you to take a deep breath, breathing in peace and harmony.

Breathe out slowly, releasing disharmony and discord.

Again, breathe in, filling your lungs with tranquility and contentment.

Breathe out, letting all worries and fears go.  Pray with me.

God of peace, we confess that we sometimes find ourselves turning ploughs into swords,

creating disharmony and distrust.

We forget the lessons of the past, lessons others have died to teach us.

Forgive us.  Guide our thoughts toward peace.

May we feel your spirit in every breath we take, filling ourselves with your love, with your harmony.

Override our default settings that we might not revert back to uncertainty, hesitation and dissatisfaction.

Ground us in your being, trusting in your certainty.  Amen.

 

Words of Assurance (optional)

Be assured that God, remembers each of us,

rejoicing when we turn toward goodness and truth,

generously forgiving a repentant heart.

Receive God’s healing mercy.

 

Words of Remembrance: the communion story

Jesus shares bread with his friends, for he is the Bread of Life.

Like bread, Jesus nourishes and strengthens us so that we can remember what has gone before and turn to what will come.

When we eat the bread together, we are strengthened as a community to remember Jesus, the Prince of Peace,

and to follow him as agents of peace in our world.

Jesus shares a cup of the juice of grapes to teach his disciples, comparing the red juice to blood.

This helps us remember the suffering and bloodshed in the world.

Drinking the juice together helps us remember that we are all part of God’s plan to bring love and peace into the world.

God loves us so much that when we make mistakes, or when we make bad choices,

God has agreed to forgive us, granting us wisdom and desire for a second chance, every time.

 

This is ordinary bread and ordinary juice.

But when we eat the bread together and drink the juice together, something extraordinary happens

which brings us closer to Jesus and to one another.

We become the ‘Body of Christ.’ which means that our eyes and ears see and hear what Jesus would see in our world.

And our arms and hands do Jesus’s work to help others and to bring peace.

May this shared meal of mystery and awe manifest for us the very essence of the risen Christ in our midst.

 

Prayer of Thanks

God of Remembering, God of Peace,

for this time together around this table, we give thanks.

For the power of this meal, this simple bread and juice, to unite us as the Body of Christ,

we give thanks.  Amen.

 

Breaking of the Bread  Break bread as words are spoken:

Although the bread is broken like Jesus’ body,

by sharing it, we are made one.

 

Pouring of the cup      Pour out juice as words are spoken:

Although the cup represents blood spilled,

by sharing it, we are healed with God and one another.

 

Blessing of the Bread and Juice

Pray with me.

Come Holy Spirit, come.

Fill this bread and these cups with your spirit

that we might remember who we are, created in your image.

May this meal remind us that we are one spiritual body,

one family, united to serve the world as agents of your peace and justice.

Amen.

 

Sharing the bread

Ministering to you in Christ’s name, all things are ready.

When you take a piece of bread, please hold it until everyone has a piece.

Then we will all eat together.

[or: Please eat the bread as you receive it.]

 

When everyone has bread:
Remember who you are:

forgiven, loved and renewed by the Bread of Life.

 

Sharing the juice

When you take a cup of juice, please hold it until everyone has been served.

Then we will all drink together.

 

When everyone has a cup:
Remember who you are:

God’s own creation, healed and reconciled by the Cup of Mercy.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Pray with me.

Gracious God, thank you for your presence in our lives, today and each day.

Thank you for uniting us through this meal,

renewed and empowered as your family.

Amen.

Sing a familiar uplifting song/hymn

–on the theme of peace and/or thanksgiving

       

God of peace,

thank you for making us who we are,

and bringing us together today.

Strengthen us this Remembrance Sunday

to be your agents of reconciliation, healing and peace.

Amen.

 

Going into the world to build peace

[optional] Distribute a Lego™ brick to each person.

I invite you to carry this building block throughout the week

to remind you that you are in God’s service, building peace.

 

Remember, we are one family of hope and possibility.

Be strong and courageous.

Be builders of peace.

We go, to serve the Prince of Peace. Amen.

 

            Have another cuppa?

            Shake hands?

            Slip away quietly?

            Whatever is comfortable for the group and for the individuals.