This Friday (8th May) is the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. We are offering an online worship opportunity based on an outline Church of England service. It takes about 15 minutes and provides a way of responding to this event.
Heaviness may endure for a night: but joy comes in the morning.
God has been our refuge and our strength: a present help in time of trouble.
Dear friends, today we are commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, when the sounds of war fell silent on this continent.
And as we remember the many soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives restraining evil and opposing tyranny, so we also come in thanksgiving for the years of peace that the nations of Europe have enjoyed since the Second World War. We can be joyful today, as those who gathered on that first Victory day were joyful. But above all things, let us pray that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven, as we say:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Bible Readings: Old Testament: Micah 4: 1-4
Peace and Security through Obedience
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20
Your salvation is near to those who fear you, that glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other that glory may dwell in our land.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. Your salvation is near to those who fear you, that glory may dwell in our land.
For those who served and died in World War II
O God of truth and justice, we hold before you those men and women who have died in active service, particularly in the Second World War, whose sacrifice brought Victory in Europe.
As we honour their courage and cherish their memory, may we put our faith in your future; for you are the source of life and hope, now and for ever.
For those who serve today
O Lord God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray, your almighty arm to strengthen and protect our service men and women. Support them in times of conflict, and in their rest and training keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For the peace of the world
O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace; that the design of your great love lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows
and give peace to your church, peace among nations, peace in our dwellings and peace in our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
An Act of Commitment
Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God and our fellow men and women: that we may help, encourage and comfort others, and support those working for the relief of the needy and for the peace and welfare of the nations.
Lord God our Father, we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind, in the cause of peace, for the relief of want and suffering, and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit; give us wisdom; give us courage; give us hope; and keep us faithful now and always.
God grant to the living, grace; to the departed, rest; to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth, and all people, peace and concord; and to us and all his servants, life everlasting; and the blessing of God almighty,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come down upon us and remain with us always.