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Remembering the Battle of the Somme

posted 4 Jul 2016, 04:24 by Dean Fostekew
At the end of our service yesterday we stood and remembered all those who fought and died in the Battle of the Somme and in all wars and battles since. Below is part of the commemoration service we used at the Good Shepherd (with thanks to the Worcester Diocese and the poet Wilfred Owen):

Anthem for Doomed Youth


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? 

      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns. 

      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle 

Can patter out their hasty orisons. 

No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 

      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— 

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; 

      And bugles calling for them from sad shires. 

What candles may be held to speed them all? 

      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes 

Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes. 

      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; 

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, 

And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Faithful God, 

you hear those who call on you in trust and comfort those who mourn: 

hear us as we remember those who fell in the roar of battle 

and died in the mire and clay of the trenches; 

hear us as we remember those who survived the battle 

but returned wounded in mind and body; 

hear us as we remember those who mourned the dead 

and the loss of homes and communities. 

May the nations united in sorrow and remembrance

find a single voice to sing a new song of peace, hope and freedom 

for the sake of your world and the advancement of your kingdom 

in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All Amen.

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.

We will remember them.