Service of Lament and Remembrance
This week’s music:
“God! As with Silent Hearts” (VU #527)
“God! As with silent hearts we bring to mind
How hate and war diminish humankind,
We pause, and seek in worship to increase
Our knowledge of the things that make for peace.
Hallow our will as humbly we recall the lives of those who gave and give their all.
We thank you, God, for women, children, men
Who seek to serve in love, today as then.
Give us deep faith to comfort those who mourn,
High hope to share with all the newly born,
Strong love in our pursuit of human worth:
‘Lest we forget’ the future of this earth.
So, Prince of Peace, disarm our trust in power,
Teach us to coax the plant of peace to flower.
May we, impassioned by your living Word, remember forward to a world restored.”
Of Dutch birth, Fred Kaan was ordained into the Congregational Church (now the United Reformed Church) in 1955. This hymn is from “Planting Trees and Sowing Seeds” (1975), a collection written by Kaan with the late composer Doreen Potter. The words of the hymn invite us into a time of reflection about times of war and the struggle to move into a world of peace. The tune is LANGRAN, well-known as the tune from the communion hymn “Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face.”
See the hymn used in worship at Strathroy United Church (2011) at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCA8XCAFugI
“Come and Fill Our Hearts” (MV #16)
“Come and fill our hearts with your peace.
You alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your peace,
This short song of centering and healing prayer comes from the Taize Community, with music by Jacques Berthier (1982).
Take a few moments to relax and breathe at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYfW2BBtAos
“Weep for the Dead” (VU #526)
“Weep for the dead.
Let tears and silence tell of blood and battle, horror and renown.
The years diminish, but do not dispel the pain of lives destroyed,
And life laid down.
Silent the dead.
Remembering we stand silent as they,
For words cannot esteem causes of war,
The love of native land,
All that they were,
And all they might have been.
Raising our flag, we stand with muffled drum,
Judged by the colours of God’s love and loss,
Recalling as we pray, “You kingdom come,”
A purple robe, and blood upon a cross.
Summoned by love that leaves no room for pride,
We pray that every continent and isle,
Wounded by war, war’s hate may lay aside,
And find a way to heal and reconcile.
Weep for the dead, from all the ills of earth.
Stand by the cross that bids all hatred cease.
March to the drums of dignity and worth.
Salute the King of Love, the Prince of Peace.”
This hymn of remembrance by Brian Wren was commissioned by the Norwich Branch of the Royal British Legion in 1987. Wren described it as “an attempt…to sing faithfully about patriotism and war.” The tune HARRIS, was composed in 1938 by Charles Harris. It may be more familiar as the tune used for the hymn “O Valiant Hearts,” written in remembrance of lives lost in World War I.
To hear the hymn played on organ, go to: https://youtu.be/eSKUf2RxDUk
To hear “O Valiant Hearts” with WWI imagery, go to: https://youtu.be/K6q6Z_FonF0
“When Peace Shall Come”
“When peace shall come like early spring,
A misting calm o’er everything.
Sweet breath of hope from everyone,
We dream of days when peace shall come.
Our hungry hearts will find their bread,
Our starving souls shall all be fed.
The lost are found, and the captive, free.
Let justice reign, let blind eyes see.
When we all turn our swords and spears
Into the plough and tools for peace,
Ah! only then will our hearts find rest,
And only then, our trials cease.
I dream a day,
When peace shall come.”
This week’s anthem was written by John Jacobson and John Purifoy (2008). The music is an English folk tune.
“Let There Be Light” (VU #679)
Robert and Margaret Fleming encouraged members of St. George’s Anglican Church in St. Anne-de-Bellvue to write new hymns for use in worship at the church. Frances Wheeler Davis, a poet and choir member, responded to that invitation with “Let There be Light.” It was first published in 1968 in a private church publication where it was set to CONCORD, a tune newly composed for it by the Canadian composer, Robert Fleming. In verses one to five, all four lines of the verse begin with the same word, producing a powerful cumulative effect. Verse six summarizes the prayers of the previous verses.
“Let there be light,
Let there be understanding,
Let all the nations gather,
Let them be face to face;
Open our lips,
Open our minds to ponder,
Open the door of concord,
Opening into grace;
Perish the sword,
Perish the angry judgment,
Perish the bombs and hunger,
Perish the fight for gain;
Hallow our love,
Hallow the deaths of martyrs;
Hallow their holy freedom,
Hallowed be your name;
Your kingdom come,
Your spirit turn to language,
Your people speak together,
Your spirit never fade;
Let there be light,
Open our hearts to wonder,
Perish the way of terror,
Hallow the world God made.”
Hear the song sung in worship at Strathroy United Church (2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkIXQ-_kG0
“Go Now in Peace” (VU #964)
“Go now in peace, go now in peace.
May the love of God surround you
Everywhere, everywhere you may go.”
Our benediction response is by Natalie Sleeth (1976).