Anglican Church of Canada
In 1914, a twenty-five-year-old South
African named Percy Fitzpatrick, a former student at Oxford, was
studying to be a lawyer in London. At the outbreak of war in
July that year he returned home to Johannesburg and volunteered
for military service. In September 1915, Fitzpatrick returned to
England with the South African Heavy Artillery. He saw service
at some of the most ferocious battles of the war, including the
Battle of the Somme and, a century ago this year, the third
Battle of Ypres. He commanded the 71st siege battery of the
South African Heavy Artillery for around nine months. On 14th
December 1917, FitzPatrick, now an acting Major, was nearing the
railway station at Beaumetz in north east France to say farewell
to two friends who were going on leave to England. A chance
shell, fired at long range, struck. FitzPatrick was killed, aged
28. His father, Sir Percy FitzPatrick senior, a farmer and
former Major of Johannesburg, had lost his eldest son. He
planted memorial trees on his land, but he wanted to do more. He
had been impressed by a one-minute silence kept in his local
church in 1916 after the South African casualty list had been
read out. The date and time of the Armistice – the eleventh hour
of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – inspired Sir Percy
FitzPatrick to suggest an annual commemoration. The suggestion
was forwarded to the King, George V. The idea was promptly taken
up and the King issued a ‘call to the nation’ at the beginning
of November 1919 asking that, ‘for the brief space of two
minutes, there be a complete suspension of all normal
activities…to perpetuate the memory of the Great Deliverance,
and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.’ The first
minute’s silence is intended as a thanksgiving for those who
have survived. The second minute is to remember the fallen. And
so, on 11th November 1919, the Armistice Day silence was
officially observed for the first time. We continue that
tradition as fervently as ever nearly a century later, on
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.
O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your Church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
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 ploughshares,
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.
For all the peoples walk,
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
for ever and ever.
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love
.But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.The Holy Gospel
Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It was to fulfil the word that is written in their law, “They hated me without a cause.”
‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.