Sunday, November 11, 2012

"O God our help... ages past..."  We gathered at the War memorial in Borough High Street to observe Remembrance Day. The War Memorial there is particularly poignant, as it depicts a First World War soldier in full kit, gallantly going forward,  in the mud of the Western Front - and because it was erected just months after that War ended, it is accurate in every detail. This particular Memorial has become familiar since I started going to Evensong and weekday Mass with the Ordinariate group at the nearby Church of the Precious Blood. It seemed the right place to observe Remembrance Day. Under a clear sky,  a crowd gathered, the bugle notes of the Last Post rang out, the police stopped the traffic, and we were silent.

It's an utterly different country from the one for which the men of the Great War fought and died. In the crowd, a number of young men failed to remove their wolly hats or baseball caps. The crowd was adequate but not huge.  When we prayed the Our Father, many people didn't join in: they all too evidently simply didn't know thre words.  The singing was good, led by the excellent Ordinariate priest and congregation in fine voice. The bugler was superb. The  wreaths were laid, the dead honoured, the tribute to our history paid. And the young men like the one on the fine monument before us will never grow old, and we will remember them...we will remember them.

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