Read news and reports, and in between sing or speak words of the Psalms.
Silently remember the dead.
In some services we have put photographs of the trauma of boat people on a long black cloth, and each of us has had an opportunity to light a candle and to place it on the cloth while saying words of intercession.
Or small candles could be lit, and placed in a water bowl (font …) while keeping silence or praying.
We have used Taizé liturgies and chants, to give form to our silent horror.
People have written intercessions and stuck them to a type of Wailing Wall.
Some people have put dinghies in their churchyards
Some have floated candles on water (rivers …)
Some have organized processions of mourning.
Giving form to shame, naming fear and awakening consciences can be tasks in themselves.
At the start of the service
Respond to this call!
Let us in caring for our own future
and the future of our countries
not forget those who are fleeing,
on their way to us, on the way to Europe.
Let us, in the face of the huge changes in the Arab countries,
find a new policy that takes human rights seriously
and does not do deals with dictatorships for our own economic interests
nor raise up fences and security measures.
Let us remember those
who have perished while fleeing,
and those who die from despair in our own countries because of the cold and the indifference of others.
There will be a future in Europe only when we learn to share with each other,
with the stranger among us.
This is the promise of the Old and the New Testaments.
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Let us prepare acts of worship, pray and light candles for the victims
who are among us and for the many who have no name.
Let us not forget those who have died as victims of our border security systems,
victims of our prosperity and egoism.
Let us remember together,
that we too have been refugees since time immemorial,
that in many of our countries, our own fate as migrants and refugees
has not been forgotten.
And let us measure the depths of our Christian faith
by how we remember, commemorate and take action.
This is not an action or a campaign.
This is a moment to pause and reflect.
Herein lies the power.
This is an act of worship,
a place where we struggle to hear the Word.
If we take this seriously,
Our words will have the power to heal.