With Remembrance Sunday fast approaching, Chronicle.lu reached out to Rev Geoff Read, Chaplain of All Saints Anglican Church of Luxembourg, to learn about the significance of this commemorative occasion.
Remembrance Sunday, held each year on the second Sunday of November, is a commemorative event in the United Kingdom. It is primarily an opportunity to commemorate the contribution and sacrifice of British service members during the Two World Wars and later conflicts. War memorials and churches around the country hold Remembrance ceremonies and services. As is tradition, a two-minute silence is observed at 11:00 on Remembrance Sunday. The event has historic links to Armistice Day (also known as Veterans Day in the United States), observed internationally on 11 November to mark the Armistice of 11 November 1918. Remembrance Sunday is always on the Sunday closest to this date.
In Luxembourg, the British Embassy has once again teamed up with local organisations this year for its traditional Poppy Appeal, which runs up until Remembrance Sunday. Proceeds go to the Royal British Legion in support of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families. One of the participating organisations is the Anglican Church of Luxembourg, which is also holding its annual Remembrance Service at the Konvikt Chapel (5 Avenue Marie Thérèse, L-2132 Luxembourg) on Sunday 12 November 2023 at 10:45.
Speaking to Chronicle.lu about the significance of Remembrance for the Anglican Church of Luxembourg, Rev Geoff Read said: "Remembering is at the heart of being human. Without it we lack proper orientation. It's not just recalling something. Remembering is about reflecting on and learning from the past. We must remember the things that have shaped our present even when they were not from our immediate experience." He continued: "Remembering also places history and our lives in a bigger context, that I believe is of God's love for the world. This sort of remembering gives rise to honouring and appreciation, but also the pain of facing up to things and taking steps towards change."
Regarding the upcoming Remembrance Service in Luxembourg, Rev Geoff Read recalled that "All Saints Anglican Church is here to serve the whole Luxembourgish and international community. Part of that is providing this service that is open to all. It is an invitation to do the important and necessary work of remembering."
Looking at Remembrance within today's wider global context, Rev Geoff Read mentioned some of the issues on which the Anglican Church is reflecting this year: "The poppies that are worn and that make up the wreaths at our Remembrance Service were initially a symbol of the First World War. It was called 'the War to end all wars'. Sadly, that has not been the case. So, we will invite people to remember the subsequent wars that are now becoming part of history and, importantly, those that still rage today: in Ukraine, in Israel-Gaza, and the many that slip from the headlines but still are shattering lives today."