Inclusion of names from Book of Remembrance in Intercessory Prayers
For some time it has been customary to prayerfully remember people from our Book of Remembrance, close to their anniversary, during our prayers of intercession.
The PCC was moved to look again at this practice for three main reasons.
Firstly, as time goes on, the list of names gets ever longer and it is difficult to establish how many of the earlier names are still known to current congregations. Many of the entries in the book indicate a date in the month but not the year of the person’s death, so we don’t know how far back they go.
Secondly, while some people like to have their loved ones remembered in this way, there are others who find it distressing.
Lastly, it is important to us that we create a strong welcome for people who are new to church. Reading out a list of unknown names from the Remembrance Book risks creating a sense that we are a club for insiders, which is not what we would wish a new person to feel.
The PCC therefore decided that in the new year, while names would continue to be displayed and recorded in the Book of Remembrance and would continue to be published in The Link on a weekly basis, the names would not be included in the intercessions on Sundays, but would continue to be included during the Wednesday Communion services.
Of course we want to continue to support the bereaved and offer other ways of remembering loved ones, such as in the All Souls and Compassionate Friends services, and also through sponsorship of flowers in memory of loved ones. Our real desire is that a concern for the bereaved will be a strong part of our church culture, such that we do not need to read out a list of names on a Sunday for those who are experiencing the pain of loss to feel that we care.