A Song for Remembrance Sunday
Colin Webster introduces us to a musical resource which churches are free to use for the 100th anniversary commemorations of the end of the First World War.
This year’s Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday and marks exactly 100 years since the end of the First World War in 1918. Although it was supposed to have been “the war that ended all wars,” we are all too aware that conflicts still rage in many parts of our fallen world.
Services of Remembrance are solemn times for the living to show gratitude to God for those who have laid down their lives trying to bring peace. At Cornerstone Church in Nottingham, we have found the Remembrance Service to be one of those ‘easy invites’ for guests to come to, because millions still want to remember those who gave their lives for the cause of peace.
So we wrote this special Remembrance Hymn with Tim Chester, whose lyrics reflect not only the solemnity of the moment, but also the Christian hope that points to Christ.
Tim Chester said:
“I wanted to mark the sacrifice of those who gave their lives as well as praying for those who continue to suffer from conflict. But above all I want the song to point to Christ, the Prince of Peace.”
The hymn has three main focal points, remembering the past and the costly sacrifice others made, but highlighting the greater sacrifice which Christ made. Secondly, it’s a prayer for those battling against injustice as well as a prayer for those caught in the midst of it, emphasising our Christian compassion and concern. Finally, the hymn ends with the triumphant hope and everlasting peace that Jesus Christ will usher in upon his return.
How to use it
This hymn can be sung congregationally. We recommend that you send a link to the song a week or two in advance via your church email or e-notice sheet so your congregation can listen to it in advance and be better prepared to sing it.
Or you can use it as a reflective solo in your service. If you have a music team and a singer, then they could play the song as a reflective piece and you could use our PowerPoint with just the words as a backdrop (which is actually helpful for those who can’t always hear the words).
Or it can be used as a meditation piece. You might choose to download and show the lyric video that we have put together. That is designed to be shown at an appropriate point during the service.
However you use this song, we trust that it will be a ministering tool for blessing and encouraging your congregations to reflect and remember with gratitude, as well as ending with a focus on the eternal hope that Christ will one day usher in.
We have produced a free manuscript of the music at www.cornerstoneworship.co.uk .