100 years, 100 days and two minutes of silence
On Sunday, 4 August 1918, the fourth anniversary of the declaration of war, King George V and Queen Mary joined members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords for a special service at the Church of Saint Margaret, Westminster. The King had asked that 4 August 1918 should be observed as a National Day of Prayer.
One hundred days later the war ended.
On 4 August 2018 churches across the country, across the spectrum of denominations, will start 100 days of prayer, peace and reconciliation, called Remembrance100.
HOPE, the charity that co-published The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, is coordinating this season of prayers for peace. Church leaders, Christian charities, ministries and members of the Armed Forces from Britain and the Commonwealth are providing prayers and suggestions for peace-making activities to be published in July in a book called 100 Days of Peace and Hope.
The book will be used by individuals, churches and schools in villages, towns and cities across the UK to reflect on the losses of war, and to work and pray for peace.
A commemorative booklet called Silence will also be published in July for churches to give away at Remembrance Services. Silence includes many of the familiar remembrance epitaphs, poems and exhortations and aims to help all those attending Remembrance events to engage with God in the two minutes of silence.
On Sunday, 11 November 2018, people around the Commonwealth will observe Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Dayto mark the centenary of the end of World War 1.
Roy Crowne, HOPE’s executive director, said: “As well as reflecting on loss, this year also gives us the chance to look forward as we mark the end of World War 1 and pray for peace. We have set up Remembrance100 in partnership with others, to help churches bring communities together to mark this significant point in our history.
“Already there are many ways in which communities, churches and schools can get involved.”
Here are a few key dates:
4 August: the first day of 100 days of prayer, running until Armistice Day in November. A book and social media campaign is being prepared for Remembrance100.This marks the 100 days between the National Day of Prayer on 4 August 1918 led by King George V, and the end of the war on 11 November 1918. Every dayfrom 4 August to 11 November there will be prayers to pray, and each weekend there will be ideas for peace-makers to act on.
21 September: the United Nations International Day of Peace will see the launch of 2018 Peace Awards.
5-9 November: schools will mark a week of peace before the Remembrance weekend.
11 November: there will be Remembrance Services around the Commonwealth. Many will be followed by Peace Parties.
December: Peace Awards ceremonies will be held.
Many organisations and denominations are working together to provide Remembrance100 resources for local churches and communities. These include HOPE, the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, Christian Vision for Men, the Bible Society, Scripture Union, Tearfund, World Prayer Centre, the Armed Forces Christian Union, the Armed Forces Chaplains, Freedom’s Ark and others.
Resources will be available atwww.remembrance100.co.uk.