St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 18th November 2012
Remembrance …..In Remembrance
The theme of Remembrance was adequately dealt with by Canon Ann Easter in a previous edition. The relationship of this national, and now global mood of Remembrance to the Christian celebration of the Eucharistic “in remembrance of me” is what I wish to touch on today albeit very briefly.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the signing of the Armistice, on 11th November 1918, to signal the end of World War One. Remembrance Day the 11 November, is a special day set aside to remember all those men and women who were killed during the two World Wars and other conflicts. At one time the day was known as Armistice Day and was renamed Remembrance Day after the Second World War.
Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November, which is usually the Sunday nearest to 11 November, as we did last Sunday. Special services are held at war memorials and churches all over Britain, with the National Ceremony held at Whitehall Cenotaph attended by her Majesty the Queen, other members of the Royal Family and Leaders of our Nation - political, civic and community leaders.
When Jesus commanded us: “Do this in remembrance of me” is He simply referring to a nostalgic mood or a more dynamic, efficacious, indestructible and enriching relationship. I believe the latter.. The Hebrew or Biblical meaning of remembrance/memory (ανάμνηση) evokes a more intimate and experiential connotation. Remembrance/in memory almost means making present, re-experiencing anew or vivifying an episode or a relationship. It makes the past present and real in a dynamic way. The defiant permanence of relationships in the face of mundane transience, flux and change is expressed by the poet Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943) in the well known and cherished fourth stanza of his Poem “For the Fallen”:"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