German and Scottish congregations join together in remembrance

This Remembrance Sunday, a Church of Scotland congregation and a German congregation in Edinburgh will join together for their 40th year to host a special bilingual anniversary service.

Rosie Magee and Verena Jantzen
Rev Dr Rosie Magee (right) will join in leading worship with Rev Verena Jantzen (left), the pastor for the German Speaking Congregation in Edinburgh.

The two congregations of St Andrew’s and St George’s West and the German Speaking Congregation are this year marking 40 years of their joint Remembrance Day service, which was first held in 1979 and is spoken in both English and German.

Rev Dr Rosie Magee, the new minister at St Andrew’s and St George’s West who was inducted in May this year, said:

“I am looking forward to experiencing the joint Remembrance Day service, especially in this, the fortieth year since its inception.

“In 1979, it was such an inspiring initiative - to ‘ground’ our remembering in reconciliation and togetherness.

“For four decades this service has modelled unity, whilst honouring different perspectives and lived realities.

“Today, there is just as much need for imaginative acts of radical reconciliation, so that our remembering can help shape a peace-filled future.”

Dr Magee will join in leading worship with Rev Verena Jantzen, the pastor for the German Speaking Congregation in Edinburgh, and this year’s theme for the service will be ‘One Church, One Faith, One Lord’.

Forty years on, the service is still a moving testimony of peace and reconciliation, with both congregations welcoming the annual event.

When the service was first held in November, 1979, a German Parish Magazine described it as “a moving testimony of the Christian desire for reconciliation.”

“’I have been waiting for such a service for years’ was the reaction of a Scottish ex-serviceman,” the article continued.

“But we also heard of reservations against our visit that were held by some Scottish members of the congregation.”

That first service was led in worship by Rev Andrew Wylie, former minister of St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, and Pastor Schroeder, former pastor of the German Speaking Congregation.

The service will take place at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George Street, Edinburgh, from 10:50am on Sunday 10 November, and is free to attend by all. The national moment of silence will be observed at 11am.

The local Albany Deaf Church will also be joining in on the day and the bilingual English-German service will also be signed in British Sign Language (BSL).