15 October 2018

Saint John the Baptist Church,
Clontarf, has links with Celtic
saints and Templar knights

The Church of Saint John the Baptist on Seafield Road, Clontarf, was designed by Welland and Gillespie and built in 1864-1866 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Patrick Comerford

I was in Clontarf last weekend, speaking at the Clontarf Ecumenical Conference in the Church of Saint John the Baptist on Seafield Road.

I was in the church many times in the past, on Sunday duty for a previous rector, the late Revd Derek Sargent. But Sundays seldom appropriate opportunities to photograph a church and to inquire about its history.

This Church of Ireland parish church was built in 1864-1866 to replace an earlier church about 200 metres away on Castle Avenue, on the edge of the grounds of Clontarf Castle. But the first church in Clontarf is said to have been founded in the sixth century by Saint Comgall, Abbot of Bangor, Co Down, as part of the early Christian developments across north Dublin, perhaps from a base at Saint Mobhi’s Church in Glasnevin.

Inside the Church of Saint John the Baptist in Clontarf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Saint Comgall became the Patron of Clontarf and remained so until the 14th century, when the parish came under the oversight of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem and Saint Comgall was replaced as patron by Saint John the Baptist.

Clontarf was a central location of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 between Brian Boru and the Vikings. The remains of a well supposed to have been used by Brian Boru are still pointed out on Castle Avenue, about 500 meters from the parish church.

A royal head on the west door, perhaps recalling Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

During the reign of Henry II, the lands of Clontarf passed to the Knights Templar, and when that order was suppressed in 1312, this became a preceptory of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem, by then based on the island of Rhodes.

The Turks captured Rhodes from the knights in 1522, and the order re-established itself on Malta in 1530. Throughout those two centuries, Clontarf remained a possession of the Knights of Saint John. But at the Reformation and the suppression of the monastic houses, their house was disbanded in 1542, and the last Prior, Sir John Rawson (ca 1470-1547), became Viscount Clontarf.

Rawson was born in London and joined the order in 1497. who was appointed Prior of Kilmainham in 1511 and became Lord Treasurer of Ireland in 1517. He was also an experienced soldier and took part in the Siege of Rhodes in 1522. Despite being ordained, he had fathered several illegitimate children. At the Reformation, he surrendered all the order’s properties, including Clontarf, in return for a pension and the title of Viscount Clontarf.

A memorial in the church recalling members of the Vernon family of Clontarf Castle (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

An early church on what is now Castle Avenue, close to Clontarf Castle, was rebuilt in 1609, and this remained the parish church of Clontarf for over 250 years.

Over a period more than 130 years, between 1680 and 1811, the parish had only three rectors, all members of the one family: Adam Ussher (1680-1713), who was also Archdeacon of Clonfert; his son Frederick Ussher (1713-1766); and John Ussher (1766-1811), who was buried in Clontarf when he died at the age of 92 in 1829. And another Adam Ussher was curate of Clontarf from 1743 until he ‘died of fever and pleurisy on [a] Sunday morning’ in 1745.

Abraham Stoker, son of Abraham and Charlotte Matilda Stoker of The Crescent, Clontarf, was baptised in the church on 30 December 1847. He was later known as Bram Stoker, the author of the Dracula novels. The Stoker family later moved to Artane Lodge, but Bram Stoker’s younger siblings were also baptised in Clontarf.

The East Window in the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Clontarf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

A key arrival in the parish was Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness (1798-1868), the grandson of Arthur Guinness, and a partner in running the brewery, who bought lands in Clontarf and Raheny to form Saint Anne’s Estate. He married his first cousin Elizabeth Guinness and all their children were baptised in Clontarf parish.

His cousin, Dr Arthur Grattan Guinness (1813-1897), practised and lived in Clontarf from 1843 to 1848, and many of his children were baptised in the parish.

Meanwhile, the church beside Clontarf Castle had become too small for a growing suburb, especially in the summer. The trustees, including John EV Vernon of Clontarf Castle, drew up plans in 1859 and raised funding to build a second church at the Dollymount end of the parish.

However, the Rector of Clontarf, the Revd William Kempston (1854-1862), told Archbishop Richard Whately of Dublin that the existing church was adequate for the needs of the parish, and the project was abandoned.

When Kempston left Clontarf in 1862, he was succeeded by the Revd James Pratt, and plans were drawn up for a new and larger church on the present site on Seafield Road.

The turret leading to the tower and spire in the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Clontarf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

The church was designed by the architects Welland and Gillespie in 1864-1866. William Joseph Welland and William Gillespie had been appointed joint architects to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in May 1860, following the death of Joseph Welland.

Both men were already working for the commissioners, and they held this appointment until the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland on 31 December 1870.

During their 10 years in office, they developed an increasingly personal and idiosyncratic version of Gothic in the churches they designed. They are also known to have routinely signed designs for churches designed by other architects, often signifying their approval rather than work.

Inside the turret leading to the tower and spire in the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Clontarf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

The foundation stone of the new church was laid on 9 August 1864 by John Vernon of Clontarf Castle, who had presented the site. The cruciform church, with a belfry and spire could accommodate 700 people, and was completed over the next two years.

The new church was consecrated on 14 May 1866 by Archbishop Richard Chenevix Trench of Dublin.

The altar and chancel in the Church of Saint John the Baptist (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness’s eldest son, Sir Arthur Guinness (1840-1915), later Lord Ardilaun (1880), was elected to the Select Vestry of the parish in 1872. But in a letter from Ashford Castle, he declined the offer on the grounds of frequent absences from the parish. He also funded the building of All Saints’ Church, Raheny.

Another connection with the Guinness family came when the Revd Robert Wyndham Guinness served as curate of Clontarf in 1871-1874 until his appointment as Rector of Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.

The porch was designed by James Franklin Fuller (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

The church was originally built without a chancel. The Kerry-born architect James Franklin Fuller (1835-1924), who received many commissions from the Guinness family, including Farmleigh House, designed the chancel and porch that were added to the church in 1897-1899. The contractor was JF Lidwill. The chancel was dedicated by Archbishop Joseph Peacocke of Dublin on 17 March 1899.

The many parishioners who fought in World War I are commemorated in an illuminated scroll in the church and the War Memorial Cross erected in the churchyard.

The War Memorial Cross in the churchyard at Saint John the Baptist Church, Clontarf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Clontarf quickly became one of the largest parishes in the Church of Ireland in the mid-20th century, and a new school opened in 1952.

The centenary of the church was celebrated in 1966, and a new Parish Centre was built in the church grounds in 2007.

The Revd Lesley Robinson has been the Rector of Clontarf since 2013.

A rainy Saturday afternoon at the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Clontarf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

A workshop on preparing for
Remembrance Day 2018

A lone poppy by a river bank (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Ministry Training Day,

The Diocese of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert,

Saint Mary's Rectory, Askeaton, Co Limerick,

15 October 2018


Sunday 11 November 2018 is the Third Sunday before Advent, but is also Remembrance Sunday.

It would be more than a missed opportunity not to take advantage of Remembrance Sunday falling this year on 11 November, the 100th anniversary of the armistice on 11 November 1918 that brought an end to World War I, and to commemorate this with silence at 11 minutes past 11 on 11 November.

Today’s workshop falls into seven parts:

1, Looking at the Liturgical Resources in the form of the special services available in the Church of Ireland, especially the ‘Service of the Word to mark the end of the First World War in a Local Church’ produced by the Liturgical Advisory Committee.

2, Some additional prayers and Liturgical Resources, including the Collect, Post-Communion Prayer, the Act of Remembrance, and the Act of Commitment.

3, Selecting the Readings.

4, Selecting the Hymns.

5, Additional resources from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI).

6, A reflection on ‘For the Fallen’ by Robert Laurence Binyon:

7, Some additional photographs. This resource is illustrated with appropriate photographs that may be used on service sheets and parish notices. There are additional photographs at the end of the page. However, when using the photographs, please credit them to Patrick Comerford. This is especially important if you decide to use them on a parish Facebook page or website.

The War Memorial in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

PART 1, The special services available in the Church of Ireland:

In this ‘Decade of Centenaries,’ the Church of Ireland has produced many resources for use in churches and parishes.

These resources include services for the 1916 Commemorations, including a Service of the Word for a commemoration of the Easter Rising, PDF, and a Service of Commemoration of the Easter Rising 1916 PDF.

The resources for World War I commemorations include a Service of the Word for the Remembrance of World War I in a local church, for which I wrote the introduction, and available as an MS Word doc or PDF, a Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme for Local Use, PDF, and a Service to mark the end of World War I in a local church, available as PDF or in MS Word.

Further resources will be available here as soon as they are produced.

A Service of the Word to mark the end of the First World War in a Local Church.



Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

We meet in the presence of God
who knows our needs,
hears our cries,
feels our pain,
and heals our wounds.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Sentences of Scripture

God is our refuge and strength;
a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46: 1

I lift up my eyes to the hills –
from whence will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1-2

This I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning. Lamentations 3: 21-23

Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary
they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40: 31

What does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6: 8



Brothers and Sisters, as we commemorate the centenary of
the ending of the First World War,
we come together to offer to almighty God
our worship and praise and thanksgiving
to draw near to the throne of God
in penitence and humility;
to hear his proclamation of justice and righteousness
to remember those who participated
in the war from our parish/town.
to pray for all those who continue to serve
in our armed/defence forces.
And to pray that in the power of his spirit
we may serve him in the pursuit of his heavenly realm.


Almighty God,
you call us into a common fellowship
of solidarity and love;
draw near to us as we commemorate
those who died in the First World War.
As we reflect on their sacrifice and the horrors of conflict,
may you move us to always work for peace
and justice in our broken world;
this we ask through the Prince of Peace,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.
Let us come to the Lord, who is full of compassion,
and acknowledge our transgressions in penitence and faith.

Lord God,
you sent your Son to reconcile us to yourself
and to one another.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus,
you heal the wounds of sin and division.

Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Holy Spirit,
through you we put to death the sins of the body – and live.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.


For boundless love of self,
and for failing to walk with humility and gentleness:

Lord in your mercy
Forgive our sin

For longing to have what is not ours,
and for hearts that are not at rest with ourselves:

Lord in your mercy
Forgive our sin

For misuse of human relationships,
and for unwillingness to see the image of God in others:

Lord in your mercy
Forgive our sin

For jealousies that divide families and nations,
and for rivalries that create strife and warfare:

Lord in your mercy
Forgive our sin

For inequity in sharing the gifts of God,
and for carelessness with the fruits of creation:

Lord in your mercy
Forgive our sin

For hurtful words that condemn and angry deeds that harm:

Lord in your mercy
Forgive our sin

For idleness in witnessing to Jesus Christ,
and for squandering the gifts of love and grace:

Lord in your mercy
Forgive our sin

The priest pronounces this absolution.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
Have mercy on you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Beatitudes (BCP pages 223-224) may also be used

Act of Commemoration

The Names inscribed on the memorial may be audibly read aloud.

Those wishing to do so come forward to lay wreaths, light candles, or offer other symbols of remembrance and hope, such as single flowers or crosses.

This may take place at this point or following the Ministry of the Word.

The Silence


Ministry of the Word



First Reading


Second Reading

The Sermon


Affirmation of Faith

Let us confess the faith of the Church.

We believe in God the Father,
who made the world.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his Son,
who redeemed humankind.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God.


Let us declare our faith in God:

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family
in heaven and on earth is named.
We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith,
and fills us with his love.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us
with power from on high.
We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed may also be used.

Prayers of Intercession

Almighty God, Father of Heaven and Earth:
In remembering those who endured the First World War,
we give you thanks for that conflict's conclusion;
grant that in our memories and reflections,
we may better learn the way of peace and of compassion in our own lives.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the Church,
we remember the responsibility we have
as the body of Christ,
to pray for peace,
to bring forth your word
and to see swords beaten into ploughshares:
especially, we pray for chaplains who minister to the members of our armed/defence forces;
grant them discernment, perseverance and protection.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord of all Creation,
as your son faced he violence of his own death,
yet cried ‘Father, forgive!’
so we pray for hearts of forgiveness in your world.
Where nation will rise against nation,
people against people,
we pray that peace might prevail.
Bless the leaders of the world with clarity of vision
to speak peace into situations of conflict.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord of compassion,
we give thanks for the women and men
who risked their lives
for the sake of others during the First World War:
especially, we remember those doctors and nurses
who served on the Front Lines.
Grant your blessing to those
who serve in the theatre of war today,
whether in combat, in logistical support or medical care.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord of eternity,
you knit together your elect
in the Communion of all your saints;
we remember with gratitude
the fallen of the First World War
and of conflicts since.
We thank you for the promise in your word,
that even death cannot separate us
from your love found in Christ Jesus.
Grant that we may live lives
worthy of this truth as we recall those
who laid down their lives for the benefit of others.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Almighty God, Father of Heaven and Earth,
hear the prayers which we ask in faith
for the sake of your Son, who conquered death
and stood victorious as the Prince of Peace,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


In peace let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for the leaders of the nations,
that you will guide them in the ways of freedom, justice and truth.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who bear arms on behalf of the nation,
that we may have discipline and discernment,
courage and compassion.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for our enemies, and those who wish us harm,
that you will turn the hearts of all
to kindness and friendship.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the wounded and the captive,
the grieving and the homeless,
that in all their trials they may know your love and support.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Most holy God and Father,
hear our prayers for all who strive for peace
and all who fight for justice.
Help us, who today remember the cost of war,
to work for a better tomorrow;
and, as we commend to you lives lost in terror and conflict,
bring us all, in the end, to the peace of your presence;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Gathering up all our prayer and praise into one, as our Saviour Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

Our Father...

The Peace

Let us pray that we may be instruments of your peace …

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Jesus said: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.’ (John 14: 27)

The peace of the Lord be with you always.
and also with you.

It is appropriate that the congregation share with one another a sign of peace

Going Out As God’s People


[The National Anthem may be sung]

Act of Commitment

Let us commit ourselves to responsible
living and faithful service.

Will you strive for all that makes for peace?
We will

Will you seek to heal the wounds of war?
We will

Will you work for a just future for all humanity?
We will

Merciful God, we offer to you the fears in
us that have not yet been cast out by love:
May we accept the hope you have placed
in the hearts of all people,
And live lives of justice, courage and mercy;
through Jesus Christ our risen Redeemer. Amen


God grant to the living, grace
to the departed, rest,
to the Church and to the nations, peace and concord;
and the blessing ...


Neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God.
Thanks be to God. Amen


Go in peace. Love one another as Christ has loved us.
Thanks be to God.

Additional Collects

For Commitment to Reconciliation

Almighty God
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
you call your people into
a common fellowship of peace and love;
grant that we may always seek
reconciliation and forgiveness,
in our own relationships, in the life of our country,
and amongst the family of nations across the world:
May we never fall silent in the face of injustice,
always seek wholeness where there is division,
and continually proclaim the gospel of unconditional love,
given to us in Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen

For Peace in a Broken World

Lord God our Creator,
your Son Jesus Christ prayed
that his disciples might have abundant life;
we gather to bring before you those whose lives are scarred
by the evils of hatred, violence and genocide,
by our inhumanity one to another.
Through the mystery of Christ’s suffering
transform our brokenness and disunity
into a new a lasting wholeness and peace:
we ask this through him who suffered, died and rose again,
even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

For Forgiveness

Loving God,
you made us in your own image
and set us in the midst of your creation;
move us to repentance for our marring of that image
and the destruction of your creation
by our sins of greed and hatred, injustice and warfare;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The War Memorial in Pery Square, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

PART 2: Some additional prayers and Liturgical Resources, including the Collect and Post-Communion Prayer.


Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the king of all:
Govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule;
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post-Communion Prayer:

God of peace,
whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom
and restored the broken to wholeness of life:
Look with compassion on the anguish of the world,
and by your healing power
make whole both people and nations;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Act of Remembrance:

They shall not grow old,
as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning,
we will remember them.
We will remember them.

Silence is kept

When you go home
tell them of us and say,
for your tomorrow
we gave our today.

The Act of Commitment:

Let us commit ourselves to responsible living and service.
Will you strive for all that makes for peace?
We will.

Will you seek to heal the wounds of war?
We will.

Will you work for a just future for all humanity?
We will.

Merciful God, we offer to you the fears in us
that have not yet been cast out by love:
may we accept the hope you have placed
in the hearts of all people,
and live lives of justice, courage and mercy;
through Jesus Christ our risen redeemer. Amen.

The Litany of Reconciliation (Coventry Cathedral):

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
Father Forgive.

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
Father Forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Father Forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Father Forgive.

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
Father Forgive.

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
Father Forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Father Forgive.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Some additional prayers:

May God grant to the living Grace,
to the departed Rest,
to the Church and the world peace and concord,
and to all us sinners Eternal Life, Amen.

The Prayer for Peace at Westminster Abbey (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

PART 3: Selecting the Readings:

The Revised Common Lectionary as adapted for use in the Church of Ireland, provides for the following readings on Sunday 11 November 2018 as the Third Sunday before Advent:

Paired Readings: Ruth 3: 1-5; 4: 13-17; Psalm 127; Hebrews 9: 24-28; Mark 12: 38-44.

Continuous Readings: I Kings 17: 8-16; Psalm 146; Hebrews 9: 24-28; Mark 12: 38-44.

A second service: Psalm 46 or Psalm 82; Isaiah 10: 33 to 11: 9; John 14: 1-29 or John 14: 23-29.

Ruth 3: 1-5; 4: 13-17:

1 Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2 Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing-floor. 3 Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing-floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.’ 5 She said to her, ‘All that you tell me I will do.’

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.’ 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17 The women of the neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi.’ They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Psalm 127

1 Unless the Lord builds the house, •
those who build it labour in vain.
2 Unless the Lord keeps the city, •
the guard keeps watch in vain.
3 It is in vain that you hasten to rise up early
and go so late to rest, eating the bread of toil, •
for he gives his beloved sleep.
4 Children are a heritage from the Lord •
and the fruit of the womb is his gift.
5 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, •
so are the children of one’s youth.
6 Happy are those who have their quiver full of them: •
they shall not be put to shame
when they dispute with their enemies in the gate.

Hebrews 9: 24-28:

24 Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgement, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Mark 12: 38-44:

38 As he taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.’

41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’

The Church of Ireland Directory for Sunday 11 November 2018 says:

Remembrance Sunday may be observed using the following readings:

Isaiah 2: 1-5 or Isaiah 10: 33 to 11: 9 or Ezekiel 37: 1-14.

Psalm 4 or Psalm 47 or Psalm 93 or Psalm 126 or Psalm 130.

Romans 8: 31-39 or Revelation 1: 1-7.

Matthew 5: 1-12 or John 15: 9-17.

Any combination of the above Remembrance Sunday readings may be used.

Wreaths at the War Memorial in Pery Square, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

PART 4: Selecting the Hymns.

I have used these hymns on Remembrance Sunday in the past:

62, Abide with me by Henry Francis Lyte.
647, Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, by William Williams.
666, Be still, my soul, to a well-known tune by Katherina von Schlegel, translated by Jane Laurie Borthwick (tune Finlandia by Sibelius).
81, Lord for the years by Timothy Dudley-Smith.
522, In Christ there is no east or west, by John Oxenham (William Arthur Dunkerley).
537, O God, our help in ages past, by Isaac Watts and revised by John Wesley.
509, Your kingdom come O God, by Lewis Hensley.

In Sing to the Word (2000), Bishop Edward Darling suggests these hymns are also suitable for Remembrance Sunday observance:

502, God! As with silent hearts we bring to mind
535, Judge eternal, throned in splendour
538, O Lord, the clouds are gathering
527, Son of God, eternal Saviour

One hymn not included in the Church Hymnal is I Vow to Thee, My Country, based on a poem by Cecil Spring Rice, who had deep family roots in Co Limerick.

A wilted poppy in the mud in a field in Comberford, Staffordshire (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

PART 5: Additional resources from CTBI:

In preparation for 11 November 2018 and to mark 100 years since the end of World War I. A number of churches and Christian organisations have partnered in providing resources in the run-up to the event and for the Sunday itself. They are available on the Remembrance 100 website.

Some Churches and Christian organisations are also involved with Battle’s Over: A Nation’s Tribute on 11 November 2018. It is organised in association with (among others) the Church of Scotland, Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) and the Association of English Cathedrals. Cathedrals and churches are being encouraged to participate by ringing their bells at 7.05pm on 11 November 2018. The guide for taking part in the events includes messages from leaders of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Church of Scotland, Church in Wales and the President of the Irish Council of Churches.

A new hymn has been released by Jubilate Hymns to mark 100 years since Armistice Day and the end of the First World War, following a nationwide competition supported by Hymns Ancient & Modern and the Pratt Green Trust. The hymn, Hope for the world’s despair (Hymn of Peace) by Ally Barrett is set to the familiar tune of John Ireland’s ‘Love Unknown’. A recording has been produced featuring Jonathan Veira and the All Souls Orchestra, along with an animated video, which Jubilate Hymns hope churches will use in services.

We Will Remember

Download the free ebook, written by Keith Clements. Timed to coincide with the commemoration of the centenary of World War I, this publication looks at how the churches in Britain responded to the First World War.

Buy from Church House Bookshop.

Below are resources for any Remembrance Sunday available to download or order, including an order of service, Powerpoint presentations and free ebook versions of Beyond Our Tears: Resources for Times of Remembrance.

Remembrance Sunday is 11 November 2018.

Order of service

The Order of Service for Remembrance Sunday is published by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and prepared with the Joint Liturgical Group of Great Britain and The Royal British Legion. A new version was produced in 2005.

The downloadable version of the service does not include the introduction, notes for organisers, Presidents’ comments or additional resources. The full version can be purchased.

Buy (from Church House Bookshop)

Remembrance Sunday Order of Service (PDF)
(For help downloading see the download guide)

Remembrance Sunday Order of Service (.doc)
(For help downloading see the download guide)


Remembrance Sunday Order of Service (For help downloading see the download guide)

Remembrance Sunday – Powerpoint of poppies
(For help downloading see the download guide)


You can View the images from the Powerpoint on Pinterest.

Please note: the photographs have a Creative Commons licence and can be freely shared if you adhere to the licence terms (see the final Powerpoint slide).

Beyond Our Tears:

Beyond Our Tears: Resources for Times of Remembrance by Jean Mayland is available to buy or download free as an ebook. In moments of national tragedy and private grief, the right words can be hard to find. This collection helps to express what is almost beyond words, bringing together prayers, readings, poems and hymns.

Buy paperback (from Church House Bookshop)

Buy large print (from Church House Bookshop)

Beyond Our Tears ebook (.mobi)

(For help downloading see the download guide)

Beyond Our Tears ebook (.epub)
(For help downloading see the download guide)

The .mobi files can be read on Kindle devices or using free Kindle software on Apple and Android tablets and phones, plus PCs and Apple Macs. The .epub files can be read on Apple iPhones, iPads and Macs using iBooks, and some other ebook readers.

Poppies in a field in the south of France (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

PART 6: A reflection on ‘For the Fallen’ by Robert Laurence Binyon:

The poem ‘For the Fallen,’ by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), was published in The Times on 21 September 1914:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon wrote this poem as he sat on the cliff-top looking out to sea from the north Cornish coastline. A plaque marks the location at Pentire Point, north of Polzeath.

It was mid-September 1914 and a few weeks after the outbreak of World War I. During those first few weeks, British forces had suffered casualties following their first encounter with Germans at the Battle of Mons on 23 August, during the retreat from Mons in late August, the Battle of Le Cateau on 26 August, and the First Battle of the Marne from 5 to 9 September 1914.

Binyon was too old to enlist but went to work for the Red Cross as a medical orderly in 1916. He lost several close friends and his brother-in-law in the war.

Binyon said in 1939 that the four lines of the fourth stanza came to him first. These words of the fourth stanza have become especially familiar and famous, having been adopted Remembrance ceremonies and commemorations.

The second line of the fourth stanza, ‘Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,’ draws on Enobarbus’ description of Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: ‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale.’

It has been debated whether the line ‘Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn’ should end with the word ‘condemn’ or the word ‘contemn.’ The word contemn means to ‘treat with contempt.’

When the poem was first printed in The Times on 21 September 1914 the word ‘condemn’ was used. This word was also used in the anthology The Winnowing Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914, which included this poem.

Dying poppies in a garden on Beacon Street in Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

PART 7: Some additional photographs:

This resource is illustrated with appropriate photographs that may be used on service sheets and parish notices. These additional photographs are also suitable for use.

However, please note when using the photographs, that for copyright reasons they must be credited to Patrick Comerford. This is especially important if you decide to use them on a parish Facebook page or website.

Poppies in the cell of John Godwin in the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Pax 1919 ... the gates at the Memorial Garden in Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The World War I memorial at Heuston Station in Kingsbridge, Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

A row of poppy wreaths at the base of the War Memorial in Liverpool Street Station, London (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The War Memorial in Tarbert, Co Kerry (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Going to war or going home? The War Memorial in Cambridge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The War Memorial window in the High School, Rathgar, Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The Reconciliation monument in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The War Memorial in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Co Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org