Monday, May 29, 2017

Remembering Those Who Died in the Service of Their Country

From Frank Colquhoun's Parish Prayers:
Almighty and everlasting God, we give thee humble thanks for the memory and good example of those who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. We bless thee for their courage and devotion, even unto death. Accept their sacrifice, we beseech thee; let it not be in vain that they have died in the cause of righteousness and honor; and in thy mercy send thy peace into the hearts of all men everywhere; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This special thanksgiving may be said before the General Thanksgiving at Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer or after the Collect of the Day or before the Blessing at Holy Communion. It also may be used by itself or in conjunction with other prayers at a special service to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. A two-minute silence may be observed after the prayer is said.
Rhapsody: A Shropshire Lad is one of the few works that George Butterworth did not destroy before he went to France. Butterworth was a promising English composer who was killed in the Battle of the Somme on August 5, 1916, one of many British soldiers that lost their lives in the Great War of 1914 -1918. Butterworth was shot by a sniper and was hastily buried in the side of a trench by his men. His remains were never recovered for more formal burial. He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross. His other surviving orchestral works are Two Idylls and The Banks of the Green Willow. Some regard The Banks of the Green Willow as synonymous with the sacrifice of Butterworth's generation and see this work as an anthem for all 'Unknown Soldiers'. With the Frenchman AlbĂ©ric Magnard, the Spaniard Enrique Granados, and the German Rudi Stephan Butterworth may be one of the greatest loss to music from World War I. Playing Butterworth’s orchestral works is a fitting tribute to all who have died in the service of their country.

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