What shall we pray for those who died?
The COVID‑19 pandemic restrictions in 2020 and 2021 were hugely frustrating for everybody. For me the silver lining was the opportunity to create music in ways that I could not have dreamt of before lockdown. For over a year during the pandemic, the Sunday services of City of Edinburgh Methodist Church could not take place in the building but were conducted via the videoconferencing software Zoom, and live‐streamed on the video‐sharing platform YouTube, and to that end I produced videos of the musical items for each Sunday.
I produced this video for the Prayers of Intercession at the Remembrance Sunday service on 8 November 2020. Rev James Patron Bell wrote and read the six parts of the prayer, and asked me to interleave them with the six verses of the hymn “What shall we pray for those who died?” by John Bell and others, and to continue my piano accompaniment through the reading of the prayer. Morag Brownlie sang the hymn. The material I chose for the prayer accompaniment consists wholly of hymn tunes from our current hymn book, Singing the Faith, adapted to point the words “God give them peace.” In all cases the tune is set in the hymn book to words that are relevant to the section of the prayer that it accompanies.
I feel privileged to have worked with James and Morag on this prayer. Through it I feel I can mark Remembrance Sunday in the conviction I learned from my father that war is always wrong, and I can mourn all victims of all wars from all countries, most of whom are civilians. God give us peace.
Copyright in the words and music of the hymn is held by Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH, Scotland. I am grateful to Rev James Patron Bell, to Morag Brownlie, and to Wild Goose Resource Group, for their permissions to use the video on this website.