Conducting an Rememberance Day Ceremony
Table of Contents
On 11 November 1918, marked the end of the first World War by the guns of the Western Front falling silent after four years of continuous warfare.
From June of 1918, the five divisions of the Australian Corps had been one of the leading forces in the advance to victory.
At the rural town of La Hamel in the early summer, they helped to turn the tide of the war at Amiens in August, followed by the capture of Mont St Quentin and Pèronne, and the breaching of German defences at the Hindenburg Line in September.
The exhausted Australian divisions were withdrawn from battle.
By late October early November discussions of an armistices were on the lips of leadership and by the 11th hour of the 11th day of November 1918, and Armistice was signed and remembrance day was instigated.
The Australian’s suffered almost 48,000 casualties during 1918, including more than 12,000 dead.
Across the period of 1914-1918 more than 330,000 Australians had served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them had died.
The effects of the war permeated thinking and wove itself into the fabric of Australian society.
We mark Remembrance day as reminder to the conclusion of the war that was suppose to ‘end all wars’.
We remember ANZAC day specifically to the Australian’s and New Zealanders went into the battle the first time and also represent those who have served in further conflicts.
( Adopted from the Australian Ware Memorial)
Remembrance Day Ceremonies
As Australian’s, we want to preserve the memory of those who gave their lives in the Great War or the first world war.
The war set the scene for a new nation, drive through any town of city in Australia and there you will see a symbol of remembrance.
Sample Order of Service
We have attached some simple orders of service in Word format so that you can edit them for your own use:
- For Military related groups and uniformed gathering such as Scouts, Guides, CEBS, Cadets etc. Download Here
- For School Assemblies: Download here
- For Aged Care Facilities or Retirement Villages: Download Here
- In the Public Space, such as a guest of your local RSL or Veterans Group, we recommend the outline on the Department of Veterans Affairs Website.
The Lords Prayer:
We suggest that you use the newer form of the Lord’s Prayer be used at any of the above ceremonies.
It is a great privilege to be invited to participate in a public Remembrance Day service.
However, we would say that unless the service is being held in a local church, at your initiation, you are a guest of the organisers.
As a Clergyperson, you have a great opportunity to work with the local community as an ambassador of Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:20), but you do not “own” the service.
The Remembrance Day is a secular service, in the public space.
Nevertheless, you must be true to being an ambassador/clergy person, and often that is what the local organisers (e.g. RSL, etc) desire.
Understanding the Australian Landscape and belief in God:
Sometimes, there are objections to the public involvement of Christian clergy in civic events.
Not everyone present has a belief in the God of the Bible, some belong to other religious groups and some can be opposed to anything Christian.
Some people can feel uncomfortable with people praying.
Yet being a Christian is distinctive and prayer is distinctive.
We pray in the name of “our Lord Jesus Christ” or in the name of “the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.“
One way of dealing with this issue is to individualise your prayer conclusion.
For example, alter the Remembrance Day prayer conclusion (AAPB p 204) from
“This we pray in the name…………” to “This I pray in the name…………….“
Appropriate Dress code for an Remembrance Day Ceremony
If you are taking part in the local Remembrance Day ceremonies are usually a ceremony only and no public March.
We would recommend, the clergy person wear official garments and consider wearing a preaching scarf while leading part of the service.
Medals can be worn on a preaching scarf.
If they are your own medals, on your left side. If they were one of your relatives medals (e.g. Father, Grandfather) then you wear them on your right side.
Sentences for Remembrance Day
Bible readings for Remembrance Day
- Micah 4:1-4 or 2 Samuel 22:2-20
- Psalm 46 or Psalm 51:14-19
- Hebrews 10:32-11:1 or Roman 5:1-8
- John 15:9-17 or John 10:1-21