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Posted by John Percival, 30 Oct 2014

But should we pray for those who have died? We are rapidly approaching Hallowe’en, the traditional vigil on the night before All Saints’ Day (1st November) and All Souls’ Day (2nd November), and at this time of year many in the Church of England will be offering prayers for the departed. Less than a fortnight before Remembrance Day, the issue is even more acute in this year of centenary remembrance for the start of World War I.

We will remember them… but should we pray for those who have died?

The Church of England resources for the commemoration of World War I encourage us to pray that God would grant “the departed rest” and “grant to those who have died in war your mercy and forgiveness”. Andrew Goddard helpfully highlighted some of the theological issues surrounding this liturgy on a blog, while also wondering out loud whether evangelicals were bothered about this issue any more.

Certainly for open evangelicals, Tom Wright has spoken perfectly clearly on this topic: “I see no reason why we should not pray for and with the dead, and every reason why we should – not that they will get out of purgatory, but that they will be refreshed, and filled with God’s joy and peace. Love passes into prayer; we still love them; why not hold them, in that love, before God?” (Surprised by Hope, p. 184).

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 29 Oct 2014

Lee Gatiss has been listening to Simon Vibert’s seminar on wedding preparation and wedding sermons, from the recent Junior Anglican Evangelical Conference.

Dr Vibert from Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, looks at how to prepare a couple for their wedding and their marriage, and how to make the most of the opportunity for the gospel.

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Posted by Mark Smith, 24 Oct 2014

A collect to pray for our brothers and sisters suffering at the hands of the radical Islamist group, Islamic State.

A prayer for Iraq and Syria

O God, our refuge and our strength,
you promise never to leave or forsake those who trust in you;
look with mercy upon your precious children in Iraq and Syria,
that they may know your peace amidst persecution,
your compassion at a time of suffering,
and your faithfulness in the face of death…

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