What do you remember from years past? I am always reminded at this time of year of a poem I learnt at school. It was John Keats’ “Ode to Autumn” - the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” I remembered that line when we celebrated our Harvest Festival; as the gifts of the harvest were brought to the Altar, as we celebrated the wonderful cycle of life.
Autumn is also the time when we remember those who have died. After the Harvest Festival gifts of flowers were taken to the relatives of those for whom we had taken Funerals in the previous twelve months. All were invited to our annual Service of Commemoration for the Departed. We meet as a local community to remember those we have known and loved; their names are read out and a candle lit for each one.
In November we also gather as part of our national community on Remembrance Sunday to remember all those who have died as a result of war. It was once thought that this Act of Remembrance would fade way as those who had served in the Two World Wars passed away. This has not happened; the appalling numbers of the war dead in the 20th Century it seems will never be forgotten.
Should we carry on remembering? Yes, it reminds us of those whose lives were cut so tragically short. Yes, it reminds us that although peacemaking is more difficult than making war, it is what we should always strive for.
Paul Duckers, Curate