Remembrance services attract large congregations from every generation. For some of those people, it may be their only visit to a church in a year, or longer. That visit is still part of their faith journey over a lifetime and there are ways to help make their visit positive and memorable. Read on for some simple suggestions to help.
Large numbers of young people and their parents come to Remembrance services through uniformed groups like Scouts, Guides, Cubs and Brownies, along with military groups. Media coverage of WW1 anniversaries, local history research, and personal interest has encouraged families to mark this day by attending a service. What will their experience be? Make it memorable, and offer something to come back for.
- Poppy prayers: involving everyone in prayer using a familiar symbol helps to make it memorable. Use poppies to do this in a Remembrance service; a simple script idea is suggested here.
- Offer something to come back to – if everyone in the congregation was given an invitation to come to a Christmas service, such as the crib service for example, it’s likely that at least a few of them would come. Giving an invitation for one specific event is more effective than simply making a general announcement about forthcoming services. Having a card to take away and put on the fridge at home will serve as a reminder. There is an invitation specifically for Christmas services on the Church Print Hub. It can be customised with your service details before you order.
- Remembering those who died in wars may prompt people to think about death. Offering GraveTalk during the season of remembering would work well – the questions do not need adapting for ages 16 and over, but good pastoral care and sensitivity is needed if working with younger ages. Military groups may even be open to having a bespoke Gravetalk event.