ANZAC Day resources

ANZAC

Excellent 2018 article by Geoff Thompson for ANZAC Day.
The words “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”, uttered on Anzac Day, have nothing whatsoever to do with war. Wrenched from their context, Jesus’ words are used to legitimate certain cultural collusions. But there are some other words of Jesus which might speak into the war-torn character of every age: loving enemies and reconciliation. Reconciliation is just as relevant to a nation’s war memories as the Bible passage ‘Greater love hath no man than this …’

Uniting Church in Australia Assembly 2016 – remembering ANZAC Day and Armenian Genocide (April 24th, 1915): On the 25th of April Australia remembers the ANZACs and their sacrifice at Gallipoli in the First World War. On the 24th of April, one day before ANZAC Day, Armenians remember the martyrs of their nation, victims of a Genocide that was fuelled by political and cultural hatred. Armenians also remember the ANZAC soldiers who saw the injustice that they were suffering and stopped to help them. The ANZACs created the first relief for the victims of the Armenian Genocide and provided them with the much needed medical care, and in many instances, keeping them safe from the hands of the Turkish soldiers. (UCA Assembly resolution here, and background here).

2016 UCA Assembly prayer for congregational use:
God of remembrance,
help us this day to remember the sacrifice of the first ANZACs at Gallipoli.
In your hands are the destinies of this and every nation.
We give you thanks for the freedoms we enjoy in this land
and for those who lost their lives to defend them.
We pray that we and all the people of Australia,
gratefully remembering their courage,
may have the grace to live in a spirit of justice, of generosity, and of peace.
We pray that people around the world,
remembering their sacrifice in providing aid to a people being massacred,
may have the compassion to reach out to those in need.
God of love and grace,
we praise you
for all those who stood firm in their Christian faith in the face of persecution,
exile and death;
for all those who endured the Armenian Genocide.
Hear our voice as we pray
for all those Armenian men, women and children who were deported,
driven in death marches, and massacred mercilessly;
for all those who continue to trample on truth, justice and human rights.
We pray
that this nation may not perish but prosper under your care;
that you may uproot from our hearts every trace of hatred and the spirit of vengeance;
that those who are the descendants of those noble martyrs may have a deep sense of gratitude and a deep sense of responsibility.
Grant that
we may value the freedom and security we are privileged to enjoy in this beautiful country;
that your power of resurrection may inspire us to live as a righteous people
prepared for every good work;
that we may be a compassionate, forgiving and loving people.
Amen.

Let us pray for the victims of war;
For the wounded and the dead.
For those who mourn and are afflicted.
For the earth and its innocent creatures –
Now mutilated and in disarray.
For the aggrieved and suffering souls –
Now bombed into submission and tormented silence.
For the scales of justice –
Now locked in false balance.
For the dove –
Now mocked by the metal wings of cruelty and greed.
For the yearnings and labours of peacemakers,
healers and teachers –
Now degraded by the cunning and cowardice of warlike minds.
For the needy whose precious resources are now wasted and spent.
For the beautiful treasures, icons and holy places –
Now defiled by a crass science, now smashed by vulgar and heartless economies.
For those who seek to know what has befallen their world –
Now deceived and bewildered by the dictatorships of information.
We lament this poisoned and sorrowful state,
We resist this brutal invasion of the common soul.
We pray for peace. 
Amen
(Source: Michael Leunig, ‘When I Talk To You’)

In A Minute’s Silence
Timeless God,
Christ of the Cross,
Spirit of Peace,
In a minute’s silence take us into compassion and understanding.
In a minute’s silence may we find ourselves almost walking in the shoes of those we remember.
In a minute’s silence may we seek the joys that sustained them in the trials that they faced.
In a minute’s silence may we find the courage that empowered them in the suffering they endured.
In a minute’s silence may we be inspired to love like the sacrifice that they made.
In a minute’s silence may we comprehend the ripples of pain that bounce around the world in response to such disturbance.
In a minute’s silence may we learn the lessons which will lead to such things never occurring again.
In a minute’s silence may we decide to be better in ourselves, that the world may be better with us in it.
In a minute’s silence may the world change for the better.
In a minute’s silence may all this be so.
In a minute’s silence we pray.
Amen.
(Source:Jon Humphries)

During this time of remembrance;
God, creator and master of all life,
we confess that our view can be limiting;
of each other and of the world.
Open our eyes this day to see those on either side of the trench,
as fathers and brothers and sons,
as mothers and daughters and sisters.
We particularly remember those who stood on the grounds of Kapyong:
we pray for those who lost their lives and we remember their families;
we pray for those who carry the wounds from the battles and we remember their families.
We remember those who cared for the soldiers of Kapyong; the doctors and nurses, the Chaplains and the families.
Let us never forget those who suffer for others, in the example of Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Source: Matt Stuart, Australian Army chaplain)

 For all whose lives have been taken by war,
grant your mercy O God.
For soldiers, civilians, those wounded and neglected,
grant your mercy, O God.
For earth despoiled and living beings sacrificed,
grant your mercy, O God.
For our glorification of war and violence
and our willingness to hurt others
to defend ourselves,
grant your mercy, O God.
We give thanks for your beloved
whom we have sacrificed;
we ask blessing for their loved ones,
confess our need for your grace,
and pray for the redemption of society.
Spirit of compassion and gentleness,
in the name of the One who was sacrificed,
save us by your grace,
and grant us your mercy.
Amen.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Lord of Peace,
Let us remember.
Let us remember the human cost of war.
Let us remember the sacrifice of those who fight because their country calls them to.
Let us remember the death and destruction that results when people take up arms against one another.
Let us remember those who have lost their life as a result of hostilities, both soldiers and civilians.
Let us remember the wounds and scarring that so many carry having been involved or caught up in conflict, whether they be physical, emotional or psychological.
Let us remember the lasting impact upon people, families, regions, countries and cultures in the aftermath of war.
Let us remember the reasons that have led to war.
Let us remember the peace-makers who have worked, and still work, to prevent war and conflict.
Let us remember the joy of peace and the power of reconciliation.
Let us remember the way of the Christ which leads to peace.
Let us remember all these things, that we might yet learn
And that we, as humanity, may yet find a way to end conflict that leads to fighting and war.
Let us remember.
Lest we forget. Amen.
(Jon Humphries)

UCA ANZAC resources
Rev Sue Page and Rev Matthew Stuart, Ministers in the Uniting Church in Australia, and defence force chaplains, put together some fabulous resources for the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli. ANZAC Centenary Resources PDF

Lest we remember
And this poignant song from Andrew Dutney. Beautiful. Sound file here.
Small (‘pay what you think’s a fair thing) cost to download.

Lest we remember, lest we recall,
we’ll build ourselves a monument,
we’ll sanctify the war.
We’ll number our heroes.
The dead we’ll ignore.
Nobody remembers what the young ones dies for.

Lest we remember,  lest we recall,
in case we remember the pain of it all.

And over and over we’ll tell it again:
the story of bravery,
of dashing young men.
The reasons we’ll argue,
the blame we will lay,
’till truth as we tell it
is history some day.

Lest we remember, lest we recall,
in case we remember the pain of it all.
Lest we remember, lest we recall,
in case we find reason for just one more war.

from I’ve Got Eyes, released 01 September 1980
Andrew Dutney: Vocal and acoustic guitar; Graham Ashton: Violin.

And this from Paul Kelly, Letter from a Trench (sound file here). Achingly beautiful.

And more from Paul Kelly who writes: ‘My friend, composer James Ledger, asked me to write text for an orchestral and choral work commissioned for the Gallipoli Centenary. I sent him a short poem and last night (24th April, 2015) at the Sydney Opera House heard it played and sung for the first time. It was a spine tingling experience”. Link is here.

Can you see us? Can you help us?
Lying broken on the shore
Look at us – we’re scattered playthings
Busted toys, no use, no more

We’re not heroes, we are fellows
From the country, from the town
We’re Jack and Jim and Doug and Darcy
Bill and Tom and Reg – all down

We are dying, can you hear us?
We are screaming on the shore
We haven’t had our lives or wives yet
We never will, we’re never more

We didn’t think, we never thought
We’d die like this so far from home
Remember us, we died in smoke
We died in noise, we died alone
(Words: Paul Kelly)

You can listen to the ANZAC Centenary ConcertABC Classic FM 8:00pm, 25 April 2015



ANZAC Day resources
(Anglican) Anzac Day liturgical resources

Opinion piece by Greg Rolles here. Definitely worth a read!
“Australia’s investment in World War One commemorations is not being replicated around the world. The government of Australia is spending more on World War One commemorations than the United Kingdom and France combined – both much more significant players in the war. It should be asked why the 25th of April has become such a significant milestone in what it means to be a part of white Australia?”

On Anzac Day (Anglican Prayer Book)
God of love and liberty,
we bring our thanks today for the peace and security we enjoy.
 We remember those who in time of war
 faithfully served their country.
 We pray for their families,
 and for ourselves whose freedom was won at such a cost.
 Make us a people zealous for peace,
 and hasten the day 
when nation shall not lift up sword against nation
neither learn war any more.
 This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life
for the sake of the world: 
Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.

(the following was written for Memorial Day 2017 in the USA but might be adapted for use in other contexts)

Today I pray for all those who have given their lives
serving in our military,and for their loved ones.
I pray for soldiers of other nations,
who also have given of themselves.
I pray for civilian victims of war and militarism.
I pray for those who have sacrificed
for the sake of peace and non-violence,
for conscientious objectors and protestors
who have given their lives for the sake of healing.
I pray for Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Rick Best,
who both died,
and Micah Fletcher, who was injured,
acting for nonviolence in Portland.
Give me courage and compassion, God,
to devote myself
to nonviolence, healing and reconciliation,
in the name and spirit of Christ,
who met violence with love,
the Gentle One, the Crucified and Risen One.
Amen.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Hymn for ANZAC Day
Honour the dead, our country’s fighting brave,
honour our children left in foreign grave,
where poppies blow and sorrow seeds her flowers,
honour the crosses marked forever ours.

Weep for the places ravaged with our blood,
weep for the young bones buried in the mud,
weep for the powers of violence and greed,
weep for the deals done in the name of need.

Honour the brave whose conscience was their call,
answered no bugle, went against the wall,
suffered in prisons of contempt and shame,
branded as cowards, in our country’s name.

Weep for the waste of all that might have been,
weep for the cost that war has made obscene,
weep for the homes that ache with human pain,
weep that we ever sanction war again.

Honour the dream for which our nation bled,
held now in trust to justify the dead,
honour their vision on this solemn day:
peace known in freedom, peace the only way.
(Music: © Colin Gibson 2005 Words: © Shirley Erena Murray, Tune: ANZAC 2005)
Youtube clip of the song here.

Prayers for others
God of love and liberty, we bring our thanks today or the peace and security we enjoy. We remember those who in times past travelled away from home to face those who would oppress and those who in time of war faithfully served their country. We remember the sacrifice of the ANZACs, and the generations of men, women and children who have died in the cause of peace. We pray for their families, and for ourselves whose freedom was won at such a cost. We bring to mind those who had to say goodbye: widows and widowers, parents and orphans, sisters and brothers, partners and friends, and all who anxiously waited with no reply.
We bring to mind those who bear the scars of their service, physical, mental and spiritual.
Sovereign Lord, prosper the work of those who work for reconciliation and justice, 
direct us into the ways of understanding, reconciliation and respect. 
Make us a people zealous for peace, and hasten the day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither learn war any more.
This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life for the sake of the world:
Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Prayer for Remembrance Day
Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of conflict,
and ask that God may give us peace:
for the service men and women
who have died in the violence of war,
each one remembered by and known to God;
may God give peace. God give peace.

For those who love them in death as in life,
offering the distress of our grief
and the sadness of our loss;
may God give peace. God give peace.

For all members of the armed forces
who are in danger this day,
remembering family, friends
and all who pray for their safe return;
may God give peace. God give peace.

For civilian women, children and men
whose lives are disfigured by war or terror,
calling to mind in penitence
the anger and hatreds of humanity;
may God give peace. God give peace.

For peacemakers and peacekeepers,
who seek to keep this world secure and free;
may God give peace. God give peace.

For all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership,
political, military and religious;
asking for gifts of wisdom and resolve
in the search for reconciliation and peace;
may God give peace. God give peace.

O God of truth and justice,
we hold before you those whose memory we cherish,
and those whose names we will never know.
Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,
and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.

As we honour the past,
may we put our faith in your future;
for you are the source of life and hope,
now and for ever. Amen. (can be followed by the Lord’s Prayer)

from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), “All Saints to Advent.” Copyright 2000 © The Archbishops’ Council. Posted on the Church of England website.

PRAYERS of the PEOPLE
We remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served
in the army, navy and air force during the first World War.
Make us good stewards of the freedom they won.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember those of other nations who fought beside them,
and those who fought against them for their own countries.
Bring us all to the day when nation no longer makes war against nation.
God of peace, hear our prayer.


We remember the physically wounded and the shell-shocked.
Bring healing and peace for body, mind and spirit
to all who are scarred or disabled by war.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the nurses, ambulance officers, 
orderlies and doctors who eased pain and saved lives.
Renew among us the vocation to heal the victims of violence.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the prisoners of war
and those who sheltered and sustained them.
Bless the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in war zones today.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the mothers, wives, sisters, children and sweethearts
who prayed and grieved for the missing and the lost.
Comfort all who mourn.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the homes, livelihoods and communities 
destroyed by bombs and gunfire.
Have mercy on all who still live in the shadow of war.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the conscientious objectors and anti-war campaigners,
reviled or imprisoned for their principles.
Give respect and a hearing for those who ask difficult questions.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the chaplains who showed the love of Christ 
when danger and death were all around. 
Give us faith strong enough to share with the fearful and the dying.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember those interned and vilified here
for their birth or ancestry in countries with whom Australia was at war.
Save us from valuing national identity more highly than shared humanity.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers 
who fought for a nation that did not recognise them as citizens.
Lead us towards true reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the friendships formed in the turmoil of war
and the loyalty and love that comforted the injured and the dying.
Give us grace to be such friends to one another in times of crisis.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the peacemakers who prayed and worked
to end the violence and destruction of the First World War.
Raise up peacemakers in all the war zones of the world today.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember the good neighbours, supporters and advocates
for returned service men and women, war widows and fatherless children.
Make us generous in providing for all the survivors of war.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember those who died in battle or from their wounds,
and those who took their own lives in agony or despair.
Bring them, in Christ, to resurrection life.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

We remember those whose names are written on Honour Boards here,
who went from this community to serve or to die in World War One.
As you were with them in all that they suffered, 
bring them, with all the redeemed, to eternal life in Christ.
God of peace, hear our prayer.

O God, as we remember the terrible cost
of this and every war,
renew in us the longing for peace
and the will to work for it
in the strength of Jesus Christ, 
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Other resources
What do Muslims think about ANZAC Day? Article from SMH 2015 by Kuranda Seyit

Internationally persecuted Muslims attend ANZAC Day service to thank Diggers for safeguarding Australia, Ehsan Knopf (Channel 9)

Anzac Day: We’ve Already Said Thanks, It’s Time To Move On, Chris Graham, New Matilda, 2016

ANZAC Day homily 2016 – Rev Sandy Boyce, Pilgrim Uniting Church

ANZAC Day homily 2015 – Rev Sandy Boyce, Pilgrim Uniting Church

 

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
This entry was posted in Special days. Bookmark the permalink.