Festivals

Remembrance Sunday

What happens on Remembrance Sunday?

Remembrance_Cross_Laying_on_Poppies_MOD_45153382

What is Remembrance Sunday?

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the fighting of the First World War stopped. It was known as the Great War, because of the size and scale of it. Over 16 million people – soldiers and civilians – died during its four years.

In 1919 an Australian journalist, Edward George Honey, wrote to the London Evening News suggesting that this time should be marked by a respectful silence to remember those who had died. When King George V read the letter he issued a proclamation which called for a two minute silence: “So that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.”

The second Sunday in November is Remembrance Sunday. At 11 o’clock, the Royal Family along with religious leaders and politicians gather at the Cenotaph in Whitehall for a service of remembrance. At war memorials, shopping centres and churches all over the UK, others will do the same.

One of the traditional readings in any service comes not from the Bible but from a poem by Laurence Binyon, written only a few months into the First World War. The words came to honour the many young men who never returned from that war – and the soldiers who still give their lives today.

 

‘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.’ (from ‘For the Fallen’, 1914)

 

Why do people wear poppies?

In 1915 an army surgeon, John Macrae, was taking a break from saving lives. He was remembering some of the friends he had lost and wrote these words:

“In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amid the guns below.” (‘In Flanders Fields’, 1915)

Today they are read at Remembrance Services around the world.

Poppies grow where the soil has been disturbed – in this case, by war. They became a symbol of people who sacrificed their lives in war. Poppies are sold by the Royal British Legion, a charity dedicated to helping war veterans – that is, people who fought in wars, many of whom were left with injuries. People buy and wear the poppies to give money, and also as a sign of respect for those who fought.

Bookmark

Related Items

Faith and the Forces

Can I be in the armed forces and still be a Christian?

  • Issues
  • Video
air force

Faith and the Forces

Can I be in the armed forces and still be a Christian?

  • Issues
  • Video

Can you be a Christian and be in the armed forces? This is a big question and one that Christians continue to debate, and disagree on even today. In this film one former airman discusses what he felt personally at the time when he was […]

Faith and Politics – one politician’s view of war

What defines a just war? What do you do if your beliefs on in conflict with party politics?

  • Issues
  • Video
just war

Faith and Politics – one politician’s view of war

What defines a just war? What do you do if your beliefs on in conflict with party politics?

  • Issues
  • Video

Andy Reed was the Labour and Co-operative MP for the Loughborough constituency when the Iraq War broke out. As a Christian Andy had to struggle with the question of whether this war was just or not and whether he should support his party’s line. In […]

Real Heroes – Captain Ernest Gordon

What does it mean to be a real hero?

  • People
  • Text
Bridge over the Kwai

Real Heroes – Captain Ernest Gordon

What does it mean to be a real hero?

  • People
  • Text

The infamous bridge over the River Kwai, also known as the Death Railway, can be found at Kanchanaburi on the Myanmar border. During WW 2, Japan constructed the 250 miles railway line from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma. The Japanese wanted the railway line […]

Reflections

Discover what Christians believe about different issues

  • Issues
  • Video gallery
Reflections Remix

Reflections

Discover what Christians believe about different issues

  • Issues
  • Video gallery

In these films Christians from many different backgrounds discuss from firsthand experience key ethical issues as well as exploring what impact their views have on their own lives. The issues covered are: 1. The environment 2. Crime 3. Alcohol & Drugs 4. Ethics 5. IVF 6. […]

Alternatives to war

Is there an alternative to war?

  • Issues
  • Text
ISSUES-PEACE&CON-PACIFIST

Alternatives to war

Is there an alternative to war?

  • Issues
  • Text

A pacifist is somebody who is pro-peace and firmly anti-war. Christian pacifists believe that all war is wrong, and refuse to participate in any action that promotes conflict. Many Christians have become pacifists in the last century. This is not only because of their interpretation […]

A Just War

Can war ever be justified?

  • Issues
  • Text
Veterans March Past the Cenotaph London During Remembrance Sunday Service

A Just War

Can war ever be justified?

  • Issues
  • Text

For the first three centuries of the Christian faith, Christianity was a minority belief and had little influence in government. Then there was an important change. The Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of his empire, and church and politics began to mix […]

War

Does the Bible support war?

  • Issues
  • Text
ISSUES-PEACE&CON-BIBLEWAR

War

Does the Bible support war?

  • Issues
  • Text

There’s a lot in the Bible on the topic of both peace and conflict. They inform both sides of the debate. Old Testament verses The Ten Commandments were given to the nation of Israel by God. They offer God’s word on living with others. Life […]

Conflict

What is a Christians response to conflict?

  • Issues
  • Text
ISSUES-PEACE&CON-CONFLICT

Conflict

What is a Christians response to conflict?

  • Issues
  • Text

The world around us engages in acts of conflict and aggression all the time. In these situations, we can find ourselves asking: is it ever OK to fight? If so, what makes fighting apparently the best option? Or are there alternatives to warfare when conflict […]

Harvest

How do Christians celebrate harvest?

  • Festivals
  • Text
BIBLE-OT-CREATION-DAY3

Harvest

How do Christians celebrate harvest?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Harvest festivals have been celebrated since ancient times and although they are not part of the traditional church year, many churches now celebrate harvest some time in the autumn. Where does harvest come from? One tradition teaches that the harvest festival used to be celebrated […]

Maundy Thursday in the Church

How do churches mark Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
  • Text
last_supper feet washing

Maundy Thursday in the Church

How do churches mark Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Even if a church does not hold a specific Maundy Thursday service, the Last Supper is remembered regularly in the majority of Christian churches through the communion service or shared meal. these can be held as often as once a week by some. A Maundy […]

Ascension Day

What is remembered on Ascension Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text
Jesus Appears_3

Ascension Day

What is remembered on Ascension Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection – when he came back to life after being crucified. But the gospel story does not end there. The next chapter comes on the day known as ‘Ascension Day’. It is the day when Christians believe Jesus returned […]

Gold_star_christmas_ornament

Christmas

What makes Christmas so special?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Christmas is probably the most popular of all Christian festivals. From the beginning of September shops and restaurants are getting ready for the ‘Christmas rush.’ Most schools will put on Christmas plays, in towns Christmas lights decorate the streets and Christmas trees can be seen everywhere. […]

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
P&P-CHURCH HISTORY-COL CROSS

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, the Friday before Easter Day. It is thought that the name Good Friday is an altered form of God’s Friday. But many people say that ‘Good’ Friday is an appropriate name: on this special day, God showed […]

Easter Sunday

What is the Resurrection?

  • Festivals
  • Video
Prayer

Easter Sunday

What is the Resurrection?

  • Festivals
  • Video

It is on Easter Sunday that the fasting and sadness of Lent turns to joyful celebration as Christians celebrate the Resurrection and declare that death is defeated and Jesus is alive. Jesus had told the disciples before he was arrested that he would be crucified […]

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
Good Friday Walk of Witnesses

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

Good Friday is both a time of sadness and a time of thankfulness. Sadness as Christians remember the suffering that Jesus endured but thankfulness as they think about how he suffered and died as a sign of God’s love for all people. Some Christians will […]

Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

  • Festivals
  • Text
festivals-pentecost-dove fire

Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Before Jesus returned back to heaven he set out for the disciples the work he now expected them to do: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name […]

All Saints Day

What is All Saints Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text
St_Chad_Bensham

All Saints Day

What is All Saints Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text

All Saints Day is when Christians celebrate the lives of Saints – or Christians whose example is inspirational or important. They think about the good things that they said and did. All Saints Day falls on 1st November, and is a ‘Holy Day of Obligation’ […]

The Beginning of Lent

What happens on Ash Wednesday?

  • Festivals
  • Text
abcdefg

The Beginning of Lent

What happens on Ash Wednesday?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Ash Wednesday is the day after Shrove Tuesday and signals the start of Lent. It is called ‘Ash Wednesday’ because Lent is a time when people are sorry for the wrong things in their lives and ashes are used in the Bible as signs of […]

PALM SUNDAY

What is remembered on Palm Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

PALM SUNDAY

What is remembered on Palm Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week – a celebration of the final week of Jesus’ life on earth. On Palm Sunday, Christians remember the time when Jesus went into Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, riding on the back of a donkey. This occasion is […]

  • Festivals
  • Text
FESTIVALS-LENT-JESUSTEMP

LENT – a time of preparation and fasting

What happens during Lent?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Lent is a special time in the Church’s calendar that takes place each spring in the run up to Easter. It begins in either late February or early March with Ash Wednesday. Lent lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays) and ends the day before […]

Celebrating Easter

Why is the Resurrection so important to Christians today?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 16.34.29

Celebrating Easter

Why is the Resurrection so important to Christians today?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

If the first question about the Resurrection – Jesus’ return from death – is ‘Did it happen?’, the second is ‘Does it really matter?’ Take a look at these films to find out how Christians have responded to that question.

The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Would you believe that a dead person could come back to life? It would be understandable to doubt it. One of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas, has gone down in history as the one who doubted the reports of Jesus’ resurrection. This film is based on that […]

The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The gospels say that Jesus didn’t stay dead. Lots of witnesses saw Jesus die on a cross on Friday – but by the Sunday there were rumours that the tomb was empty and that he had appeared to some of his followers – Mary Magdalene […]

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

  • Festivals
  • Video
Salvation

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Bible says that Jesus died by being crucified by the Romans – that is, being nailed to a cross and left to die. The gospels quote a Roman soldier who watched Jesus die as saying ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.’ This […]

The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

  • Festivals
  • Video

On the night before Jesus died – the night of his arrest – Jesus’ disciples ran away, scared for their lives. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends, but even he let Jesus down. During the Last Supper, which happened only hours before his arrest, […]

Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline
FESTIVALS-CMASTRAD-tree1

Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline

Our calendar year is divided into four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its special characteristics, colours and associations. For example Autumn is often associated with harvest, and the orange and yellow leaves that blow around in the blustery wind. It […]