Historic Remembrance-Tide Prayers

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Special prayers used just six days after the end of the First World War may be heard once again this year as parish churches commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918.

Located among documents stored in the archives of Lambeth Place Library, the prayers were issued under the authority of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for use on Sunday, November 17, 1918. The Prayer Book Society has made the prayers available to download from its website at www.pbs.org.uk/armistice

‘These prayers were intended for use during the services of Holy Communion and Morning and Evening Prayer found in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer,’ explains Prudence Dailey, chairwoman of the Prayer Book Society.

Armistice Day was first observed formally in the grounds of Buckingham Palace during the morning of November 11, 1919. The previous evening King George V hosted a banquet in honour of the French President.

By the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Armistice further thanksgivings and prayers, as well as suitable psalms and lessons, were authorised by the Archbishops for use by churches. These, too, are available on the Prayer Book Society’s website.

Says Prudence: ‘Although these documents are almost a century old, we have been able to recreate them in digital formats which can be printed, adapted or cut-and-pasted free of charge by today’s users, not only this year but also for next year’s hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Armistice.’