A time to remember – Remembrance Day

Bible base

1 Corinthians 11:23–26

Aim

To help students reflect on how memories are an important part of our lives.

Things you’ll need:

  • A song about remembering or memory, eg ‘Everything I do, I do it for you’ by Bryan Adams; ‘Memory’ from the musical Cats
  • PowerPoint equipment (optional) for presentation.
  • Objects, photos etc that you plan to use as examples in the assembly.
  • Remembrance Day poppies.

Preparation

  • Find the pictures or objects you plan to use in the assembly.
  • Find out some facts about wars by doing a web search.
  • If using PowerPoint or OHP for presentation of pictures (see below), prepare material as appropriate.
  • Wear a poppy.

Presentation

Start by talking about the different ways in which we remember things, pointing out that we have good memories and sad memories. Show some examples, beginning with some personal ones. You could show some of your ‘picture’ memories using PowerPoint or OHP and also some actual objects, holding them up for your audience to see. Choose things which you think this age group will enjoy. Examples might include:

Good memories

  • Photographs (eg a funny one of you on holiday as a child)
  • Your teddy bear
  • Your diary – includes important dates (eg your birthday, pay day, holidays, trip to the cinema)

Sad memories

  • Possessions (eg your grandma’s wedding ring)
  • Photographs (eg a picture of a relative who fought/died in a war)

2 Now comment that some students are wearing poppies (if they are). Show and talk about your ‘Remembrance Day’ poppy. Ask if anyone can tell you why we wear these at this time of year. Then talk about what the poppy is meant to help us remember. Include some facts about wars, for example:

First World War: On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, there were nearly 60,000 casualties, a third of whom were killed.

Some facts about a more recent war, eg the war in Iraq.

Talk about the fact that the people who were killed or injured were real people – someone’s father, brother, husband, and son. In the First World War, some of those fighting were very young – as young as 14.

3 Ask: Why is it important to remember?

  • Talk about a time you forgot something (eg your Mum’s birthday!). How did that make the person feel?
  • Talk about the importance of remembering friends and relatives who have died, including some personal examples. If we don’t remember people it’s as if we’re saying they weren’t important or that we don’t care about the contribution they’ve made to our lives.

In the same way, it’s important to remember the people who have died in wars, fighting for things that are important. How we live today is partly a result of their sacrifice. Remembrance Day is a time to remember.

Reflection

1 Say that remembering is important, because what happened in the past affects our lives now. It’s important because others (those we don’t know, like soldiers, and those we do know, like family) have done things for us which have an affect on our lives today and we need to remember them with thankfulness.

2 Now show the cross (an object, or picture on OHP or PowerPoint). Talk about, how for Christians it’s important to remember how Jesus died and in doing so took all the suffering and wrongs of the world. When we see a cross it reminds us of Jesus giving up his life for us, and challenges us about how we live for God and others now.

Response

1 Ask the young people to think about:

  • the soldiers who gave their lives for this country in wars;
  • their own good memories of people and what they mean to them;
  • Jesus giving up his life on the cross and why he did that.

Give a few moments of silence and encourage students to take the time to say thank you to God for what these memories mean and to think about what difference they might make to their lives now.

2 Show the prepared PowerPoint presentation (optional) with images of memories (family photos, war pictures), ending with one showing the cross, whilst listening to the song you have selected on the theme of remembering.

If PowerPoint isn’t available, use two or three OHP acetates with images and display these whilst the students are listening to the song.

3 End with a few moments silence, leaving the image of the cross on display.

 

 

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