First World War Centenary 2018
We Will Remember Them
The Church of England website has a host of worship and prayer resources to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War this coming autumn.
On Monday 11 November 1918, the treaty known as the Armistice of Compiègne came into effect, ending hostilities between the Allies and their last opponent, Germany. The agreement ended four years of conflict which had mobilised 70 million military personnel worldwide, at a cost of more than 18 million lives and over 20 million casualties.
One hundred years later, civic remembrance services in the UK’s churches and cathedrals will take on additional significance. A variety of ideas for worship, prayer, and remembrance have been available to help communities to remember those who were lost, and to pray for peace.
These resources include a prayer for families to say while visiting a war grave or memorial (below) in addition to other prayers; an Act of Commitment to work together for peace, a Vigil Service to mark the centenary, and a monologue interspersed with suggested words and music, entitled Steps towards Reconciliation.
The Bishop at Lambeth, Tim Thornton, the Bishop to the Armed Forces, said:
“There are, of course, very few people now left to tell first hand stories of the First World War. As we commemorate its centenary, remembering those who gave their lives, it is important therefore also to pause and commemorate those who have lived with the memory of war, and the manifold challenges that brings.
“These resources offer an excellent way for churches, groups, families and individuals to connect with a generation whose lives were inexorably altered by desperate conflict.
“The season of remembrance each year sees churches and cathedrals come to the fore as communities bring to mind those lost and affected in any way in conflicts, give thanks for the sacrifices of our armed forces, and pray for peace.
“By connecting with ancestors or those locally who served in the First World War, our prayer in their names is above all for a peace which is lasting.”
The resources, put together by members of the Liturgical Commission, are available on the Church of England’s website.
A copy of the prayer and worship materials can be downloaded here.
Resources created by Hope and the Bible Society
Also, The Church of England has linked with HOPE and the Bible Society to help provide resources for churches and schools to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. HOPE have set up a dedicated website for the centenary. Visit remembrance100.co.uk for resources and information about events taking place around the country throughout 2018.
- Hear My Cry booklet
An illustrated collection of psalms, poems, prayers and stories to aid reflection about World War One. Suitable for religious and civic remembrance ceremonies as well as for individual, personal use. Available to purchase from the Bible Society website.
- Silence booklet
A beautifully illustrated, 36-page, pocket-sized souvenir booklet is designed as a give-away for Remembrance events. Available to purchase from the HOPE website.
- Schools lesson plans
Stories, videos and notes covering a wide range of material about Christianity and the First World war. Available to download from the Bible Society website.
Bell Ringing for the Commemoration
On 11 November 2018, 100 years since Armistice, bells will ring out in unison from churches and cathedrals in villages, towns and cities across the country. Big Ben will also strike at 11am to mark the centenary. Find why this is so important for the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, by reading more here.