Sunday 12 November 2017

Sunday 12th November - Remembrance

I can hear our neighbour's television through the party wall - they, like many, many people are watching the ceremony at the Cenotaph in London.

We've switched on our television, just in time to catch the final ten minutes; a hymn ("O God Our Help In Ages Past") and the Lord's Prayer and the final blessing, followed by the buglers playing the reveille.

Now all the people gathered there can make their way home through the fallen leaves, all probably frozen to the core as it is a raw morning, though mercifully not raining.

I played the organ for the early (9am) service at our village church this morning; the hymns were "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" and also "O God Our Help In Ages Past". There were a good people few there, but most will be coming to the next service, including Guides and Brownies and Rainbows and Scouts and Cubs and Beavers, and Air Cadets and more, as well as villagers that never come on any other day.

I find it interesting that this still a Christian, religious service, but many - most? - of the people attending would not consider themselves as having a particularly religious view. I know that my neighbours are not church goers, and yet they always watch the big Albert Hall programme on the Saturday evening, and the Cenotaph on the Sunday.

There is something about the role of the Church in the lives of many older people which sticks, even when they have long given up on having any connection with any church. One man I knew said "I always pay my dues to the local church" even though he never put a foot in the building between his wedding and his funeral. And how many mutter the old word of the Lord's Prayer under their breath, from ancient memory, finding it easier to join in than to abstain? "Deliver us from evil, and lead us not into temptation...". The words have become some kind of protection against fear and darkness - which, indeed, for me, they are. 



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