Added on 12/11/2013
President Michael D Higgins attended the annual Service of Remembrance in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin where hundreds, including many war veterans, gathered to commemorate Ireland’s war dead.
The service was broadcast live on RTE Radio 1 and was also attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn and Major General The O’Morchoe, the President of the Royal British Legion in Ireland.
DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson and Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Dinnehan read lessons during the service. Wreaths were laid at the War Memorial at the North Transept of the cathedral by the President and Major General The O’Morchoe, who also read the exhortation.
The sermon was preached by the Revd Michael Stevenson, former Army Chaplain and Rector of Bunclody. Speaking about the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives in the First World War, he said that today we have developed an obsession with age and attempting to retain youth and prolong life. He said that the corollary of this was the fear of death.
For the Christian, he said death had a very different aspect and said that people who had not faced up to the fact of death, that it is something that can happen to anyone at any time, had not begun to know what life was about. He continued that for a Christian death is not the end and life is something to be lived to the full – with the risks that entails but in the knowledge that sacrifice is not waste.
He said that the people being remembered at the service – the 50,000 Irishmen who lost their lives in World War I and the 7,000 who died in World War II – had to face up to the inevitability of death and lived their lives to the full. The fear of death meant that people could not live life to the full.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is currently putting together an exhibition and education programme to mark the centenary of World War I. The exhibition will focus on the cathedral’s role in commemorating the war and examine how it affected the cathedral community.
They are currently looking for personal stories from this time and would like to hear from anyone who has information or objects that would contribute to the exhibition. Anyone interested can contact the education department at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or phone (01) 4539472.
Photo: President Michael D Higgins and the President of the Royal British Legion in Ireland, Major General The O’Morchoe lay wreaths at the War Memorial in the north transept of St Patrick’s Cathedral during the service on Remembrance Sunday.