Gathering:

Good morning & welcome to a short service of thanksgiving for 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Today’s service will take the form of a selection of readings and prayers, whilst we also listen to Holst’s Venus the Bringer of Peace, from The Planets. Between each set of readings & prayers we will keep a period of silence.

This piece of music, along with the readings, has been chosen because the fruit, or reward, for victory is surely peace - good and godly relationships between all people, all nations, for all time. Peace is the greatest of all prizes and the noblest of all outcomes.

But, as well as reflecting on peace and resolving to always work for peace, we must also spend a little time remembering and giving thanks for those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen who lost their lives fighting in Europe, for the sake of universal peace - victory belongs to no one and it belongs to everyone, for the victory that they won is truly a universal victory.

Remembering well, with thanksgiving, is so especially important, for when we remember well, we are strengthened to live better, more peaceful lives - in the here and now and into the future. Our job, yours and mine, is to ripen the fruit of victory, never letting it become bitter or hollow. So, let us keep a minute’s silence whilst we remember those who gave their lives to secure both victory and peace.

SILENCE (1 MINUTE)

A collect for universal peace: Father of all, your risen Son gave new hope to his apostles with words of peace and the assurance of his presence; send your Holy Spirit into the troubled places of the world, bless them with Christ’s gift of peace and strengthen the resolve of all who work to reveal your kingdom on earth as in heaven; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive & reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.

Reading: Psalm 72:1-8

SILENCE (20 SECONDS)

A Prayer for the Nations. This prayer was written by Eric Milner-White, a former Dean of York Minister who also served as chaplain on the Western Front in the First World War:

‘O God who woulds’t fold both heaven and earth in a single peace, let the design of thy great love lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to thy Church, peace among nations, peace in our dwellings, and peace in our hearts; through thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

And a prayer for peace written by someone unknown; an anonymous author: ‘Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe, Amen.

SILENCE (20 SECONDS)

Let us pray together the words that Our Saviour, the Victor of Life over Death gave us: Our Father….

Blessing:

The Peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and the blessing…