Remembrance Day

Join us on Sunday, November 11th at 10:45 a.m. for the laying of the wreaths
at the Cross of Sacrifice. A service of Remembrance follows in the Main Sanctuary.

Posted on November 7, 2012

The Courageous Ordinary

 By Barry Parker, Rector

Remembrance Day brings up all sorts of memories, experiences, questions and thoughts. We acknowledge that as Canadians we are a blessed people living in a blessed land. An aspect of that blessing arises through Canadians, often very young with little life experience, who offer themselves in service to their country. They are from all parts of this great nation, with all manner of background and life stories.

What strikes me are the images so prominent on Remembrance Sunday.

  • The grainy, black and white photo of the Saskatchewan farm boy staring into the camera, standing in the muddy trenches of Vimy Ridge in 1917
  • The group photo of the young women who just finished their latest runs as Ambulance drivers, somewhere near the frontlines in France, near the end of the Second World War
  • The tired and wary soldiers securing a local village in the Kandahar District so local Afghans would have a school to educate the next generation, free from fear and terror
  • The plaques that surround us at St. Paul’s, highlighting our 170 year history; where each plaque represents a life lived and lost.

These are the ordinary women and men who have served faithfully and diligently through the decades. What unites all of these images is that they are of ordinary young Canadian men and women who voluntarily stepped into the breach to serve something bigger than themselves. That ordinariness though was trumped by the courage embodied by each and every one – the courage to undertake something extraordinary.

Today, in our Remembrance Sunday services, we place all of those lives into the context and care of a loving God. This is a God who somehow in the midst of our sorrow, war, pain, violence and suffering; gives meaning to each and every one.

This Remembrance Sunday, we remember, we appreciate, we value all those who have gone before to serve, even to the point of death, something greater than themselves. They were ordinary. They are ordinary. They are the courageous ordinary.

Today, we remember.