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The Coventry Litany of forgiveness - "Father, forgive"

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class:

Father, forgive.

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own;

Father, forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth; Father, forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,

Father, forgive.

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee;

Father, forgive.

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children;

Father, forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,

Father, forgive.

Ever-living God, may peace calm our fears,

bring justice to all peoples,

and establish harmony among the nations,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE FIRST READING: Isaiah, chapter 2

‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

to the temple of the God of Jacob.

He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’

He will judge between the nations,

and will settle disputes for many peoples.

They will beat their swords into ploughshares

and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation,

nor will they train for war any more.

PRAYER: God, our refuge and strength,

bring near the day when wars shall cease

and poverty and pain shall end,

that earth may know the peace of heaven;

through Christ our Lord


When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed;

this must take place, but the end is not yet.

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;

there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines;

this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.

Brother will deliver up brother to death,

and the father his child, and children will rise against parents

and have them put to death;

and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.

But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Holy Trinity War Memorial © Brian Mawdsley (WMR-72538)


I was born a “baby boomer”, after the Second World War.

I have no memory of either World Wars, apart from my ration book to remind me that chocolate was still hard to come by!

It was a time of recovery; city centres were beginning to be rebuilt again, and Coventry Cathedral, decimated by Nazi bombing,

was soon to rise like a phoenix out of the ashes.

World War One, 1914 to 1918,

was to be “the war to end all wars”.

Clearly it was not.

From the end of the Second World War,

millions more lives have been lost in wars and conflicts since.

From 1945 to the present day there has only been one year in which a British service person has not been killed in a conflict somewhere,

including of course in Afghanistan,

where, thanks to bungled diplomacy, many people continue to die.

Remembrance Day is not an occasion to celebrate the glory of war.

Today we count the human cost of it,

tragically engraved on war memorials up and down the country, including here at Holy Trinity.

At the end of this service we will stand and look

at that cruel tally of young lives lost from this side of Winchester;

young people who were never able to enjoy

the cause for which they fought.

For us it is just a list of names…..

but perhaps there might be a relative of yours there?

They were soldiers, yes…. but people like you and me,

who gave up their future so that we could enjoy ours.

Holy Trinity "Calvary" War Memorial © Clive Farmer (WMR-72538)

One such was Captain Edward Lawrence MC, DCM, killed in Action 28 March 1918.

He served initially with the 16th, The Queen's Lancers; and in 1914 was made a sergeant. He demonstrated great ability and courage, and was awarded the Medaille Militaire in August 1914; and was Mentioned in Despatches in October 1914.

He was awarded the DCM "For gallantry and ability in command of his troop before and after being wounded" in February 1915.

On 6 February 1916 he was commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant

in The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

On the night of 30/31 August that year he and another officer carried out a raid on enemy trenches. He and his party came under heavy fire, and Lawrence was hit by a small shell splinter.

For his actions that night he was awarded the MC, (Military Cross)

"for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when leading a successful raid on the enemy's trenches. Though earlier wounded in the head he stuck to his command and assisted to remove the wounded under heavy fire".

The circumstances of his death in March 1918 are a mystery. His name is recorded on the Arras Memorial; and according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

he has `no known grave'….but his name is on our Memorial, the most-distinguished of all.

We remember Captain Edward Lawrence, MC, DCM, today…..

as we remember all those named on our memorial

whose lives were engraved on the hearts of those who loved them

and from whom they were cruelly taken.

Similarly we remember on this day millions of names on countless memorials up and down the country, and also those who perished but without recognition.

Remembrance Sunday is about the human cost and hurt of war.

Remembrance Sunday reminds us that there are no winners,

because in war all lose; victory comes at too high a price.

Keep your poppy in a place you can see it every day;

make every day a time to remember how little it costs

to avoid conflict, to look for peaceful ways of living,

to consider the needs of others above self.

Remember……..learn from the past, put into action for the future.

Grateful thanks to The City of Winchester Trust

for information on Captain Edward Lawrence, MC, DCO.


Let us remember before God, and commend to his safe keeping,

those who have died for their country in war; and all who have lived and died

in the service of the peoples of the world.

We pray for all who in bereavement, disability and pain continue to suffer the consequences of fighting and terror.

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.

Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God and our fellow men and women: that we may help, encourage and comfort others,

and support those working for the relief of the needy and for the peace and welfare of the nations.

Lord God our Father, we pledge ourselves to serve you and all peoples, in the cause of peace, for the relief of want and suffering, and for the praise of your name.

Guide us by your Spirit; give us wisdom; give us courage;

give us hope;

and keep us faithful now and always.


Today and all days embrace us in a love that knows no end. Today and all days fill us with a power that overcomes. Today and all days encourage us with a word that nourishes. Today and all days inspire us with a hope that sustains. Today and all days comfort us with a peace that endures. Today and all days bring wholeness of body, mind and spirit Today and all days. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come,thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin

and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Lord, I am not worthy

that you should enter under my roof,

but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Time to sit quietly to receive the Lord’s Presence


“My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart …

I embrace You as if You were already there

and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You,”


Father, I abandon myself into your hands;

do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,

and in all your creatures—

I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,

to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

for you are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld.

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life,

until the shades lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed,

the fever of life is over, and our work is done;

then Lord, in your mercy, grant us safe lodging,

a holy rest, and peace at the last,

through Christ our Lord. Amen

God grant to the living grace, to the departed rest,

to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth and all people,

unity, peace and concord,

and to us and all God’s servants, life everlasting;

and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be upon us, and remain with us always. Amen

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