November often feels like the month for remembering! We begin with days to recall All Saints and All Souls, then move on to bonfires and fireworks as we “remember, remember, the fifth of November”, before marking the pain of war and the hope for peace on Remembrance Sunday and November 11th.
This year will inevitably be different in what we might be able to do as marks of remembrance. The need to do so will not, however, be diminished, and may even be more important than for many years.
One of the central elements of Christian worship is the sharing of bread and wine in the Eucharist or Mass or Holy Communion. As Christians share together, they are reminded of Jesus’ words to his disciples to “do this in remembrance of me”. Although churches may differ in how this is understood, there is something significant for most in bringing into the present moment an event from the ministry of Jesus. The past and present come together.
In a month of remembering, our thoughts and prayers are especially with those whose memories will be particularly acute at this time of year. We may not be able to do all that we usually do either individually or as a community, but in this present moment with all its continuing confusions we give thanks for those whom we have loved; those who have served us and our nation in times of war and peace; and those who continue so to do.