Service to Commemorate the Centenary of the End of the First World War held in Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork was full on Sunday afternoon, 11th November, for a Service to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.  The citizens of Cork were led by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Thomas Moloney, and the Government was represented by Senator Jerry Buttimer.  The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn attended the morning Service at the Cathedral, a Requiem with the reading of all of the names on the Cathedral’s war memorial, before travelling to Dublin for the inauguration of the President.

Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Speaking at the start of the Service, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, who presided, said that the liturgy spoke for itself.  ‘It is not a day for lots of words or long sermons; we are here simply to remember the horror of it all, the human cost and the fact that we are still living with the outcomes.’

The Right Reverend Dr. Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, with telegrams of the names of Cork victims of World War 1.
Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Bishop Colton said:

At the heart of the Service were the readings from the Bible, the specially chosen music, and symbols: one wooden cross (a First World War temporary grave marker) emblematic of all who died; the candle which was beside it, a sign of the hope of resurrection; the wreaths which were laid; and the nearly 4,200 facsimile First World War telegrams, each bearing the name of a Cork casualty of the war.  These were written by the students of second level schools in the Diocese – Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, and Midleton College.

People from all over Cork City and County and further afield, of all ages, filled the Cathedral. Members of the Defence Forces present were led by Lt-Col Sean Dunne who laid the first wreath on behalf of the Defence Forces.  Also present were Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin of An Garda Síochána and Judge Seán Ó Donabháin.  From Cork City Council, in attendance were Cllr Tim Brosnan, and former Lords Mayor Cllr Michael O’Connell,  Cllr Chris O’Leary, and Cllr Tony Fitzgerald.

Lt. Col. Sean Dunne, Head Quarters 1 Brigade Collins Barracks, during the Wreath laying Ceremony.
Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Among the many representatives from organisations in Cork City and Council were Mr Ted Owens of the City of Cork Education and Training Board, Mr Michael Mulcahy of Cork Civic Trus,  and representatives of the Western Front Association, the Munster Fusiliers Association, the Leinster Regiment Association, and the Royal British Legion. Among those representing  other countries were the Consuls of Belgium (Mr Dominic Daly), Denmark (Sir Freddie Pedersen), Finland (Mr Conor Doyle), Portugal (Mr George Barter), and Spain (Ms Cathy Goode).

Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Clergy and Readers of Cork, Cloyne and Ross were joined by clergy and representatives of other religious denominations. The Bible readings were read by Senator Buttimer, Denise Gabuzda (Cork Quaker Congregation), and the Reverend Peter Rutherford (Rector of Kinsale).  The prayers were read by Jacqui Wilkinson.

The Reverend Peter Rutherford. Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The Dean of Cork, the Very  Reverend Nigel Dunne led that Act of Remembrance during which the Last Post and Reveille were played by trumpeter, Michael Mullins.

The Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne. Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Michael Mullins, playing Reveille, during the Service.
Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Mr Peter Stobart, with Phoebe Tak Man Chow at the organ, sang especially chosen music.  The central musical item at the Commemoration was a setting of text from Psalm 90 by Ralph Vaughan Williams (who himself served in the First World War)  Lord, thou hast been our refuge. It combined the words of the psalm with passages from the hymn O God, our help in ages past which is traditionally used at times of Remembrance.

The Cathedral Choir.
Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A very moving and poignant moment in the Service was when students from the three schools in the Diocese carried forward the c. 4,200 telegrams the Bishop had asked them to write, in baskets, and poured them at the foot of the Cathedral’s own war memorial.  Many spoke afterwards about how moving they found it to hear the telegrams falling to the ground.

Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Posted in Bishop, Cathedral, Centenaries in Ireland, Centenary, Community Involvement, Decade of Centenaries, Diocese, Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday, Schools in the Diocese

Photos ~ Service to mark the Centenary of the End of the First World War at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

Photographer Jim Coughlan was on hand in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork on Sunday 11th November to take photographs at the Service to Commemorate the Centenary of the End of the First World War:

Armistice Day. The Centenary of the End of World War I. A Diocesan Service to mark the Centenary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Posted in Bishop, Cathedral, Cathedral Choir, Centenary, Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday

Oration by Bishop Paul Colton at the War Memorial in Cork to mark the end of the First World War

Oration delivered on Remembrance Sunday, 11th November, 2018

at the War Memorial in Cork

To mark the Centenary of the end of the First World War

delivered by The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton

Bishop of Cork

You have honoured me by inviting me to give this oration, but you have given me an impossible task.  You have asked me to put words on that on which words cannot be put: the First World War, the so-called ‘war to end all wars.’  And we do so today because we say this is the centenary of the end of the First World War, and so, in some limited way, it was an end.  The guns did fall silent on the Western Front. But the suffering and dying did not end. M. Bradley from North Main Street, Daniel Buckley from Boherbue, J. Dawson from Sunday’s Well, James Gloster from Quaker Road, William Kingston from Leap, John Murray from 26 Horgan’s Buildings, Denis O’Connor from 141 Burnt Lane in Shandon; William O’Keeffe from Cork; Nellie O’Neill (yes, a woman – women who seldom get mentioned) a nurse from Ballyrussell in Cloyne; P. O’Sullivan from Inchigeelagh; William Skuce from Ballydehob;  H. Teskey from 2 Castleview Terrace, Lower Glanmire Road; and Patrick Madden, from 66 Maddens Buildings, Watercourse Road, Cork – these would all die this month one hundred years ago, after the armistice. In so many ways, in countless homes, the war went on and did not end.

Still today, we live with the outcomes in a world that was transformed forever by that war.  At a human level people lived with the grief and the wounds. In my pocket I carry what, to my grandmother were treasured keepsakes, sacred relics, as it were – some of many – of the man she loved and married in 1916 and who eleven months later was killed in action: two lace handkerchiefs from Belgium.   Channeling that grief into her care for the wounded she met my grandfather , returned to inner city Dublin carrying wounds from British East Africa. By the time of my childhood in the 1960s and early 1970s I remember him putting on, every day, the specially adapted boots provided by the army to alleviate his wounds. One hundred years is not a long time ago.  

As historian  Gary Sheffield said, ‘this was a war that changed history, for good and for ill.’ He quoted Zara Steiner: ‘[the First World War] … was like a volcanic eruption that left immeasurable destruction in it wake.  … [T]here was little that was not marked by this man-made catastrophe….[I]t set in motion new ideas and movements that were felt throughout Europe and beyond.’ ‘It opened’ she said ‘ a Pandora’s box which, once opened, could not be shut.’

Our presence here today is not about trundling through the painful and contested politics of the 100 years since. We are not here to debate were they right or were they wrong? Neither do we judge.  We have the luxury of looking back at the First World War through the lens of our own experience, opinions and knowledge – a view from above – aerial snapshots – that have been shaped by 100 years of life since.   There is no glory in war. We do not celebrate. We commemorate. We remember.

We are here because, fact of facts, people, human beings, in all the diversity of their personality, backgrounds and humanity, fought and died.  It was tragic. It was devastating. Such was the ghastly horror of it all that those who came home were silent. We too should be lost for words.

The people we remember today did not have that 100 years of reflection since .  In the midst of it, they did what they did, for reasons we cannot fully know, but for them ‘it was the right thing to do in their time.’  When we venture our opinions on it all we tread on the holy ground of other people’s lives – people like us, and we have to be very careful not to abuse that remembrance by harnessing what we think about them to our own contemporary ends.  We must not judge them, as I say, from the comfort of our own high moral ground and the omniscience of our hindsight.

We are here today simply to remember them; to remember the awfulness of it all, the deaths, the wounds, the scars, mental, emotional and physical, the gaps that stayed for ever  – in individual lives, in families, in communities, in societies, and in nations. Whatever our current outlook we can all agree that people died; that there was unimaginable and ghastly suffering; and that the world has never been the same since.  Our world still shudders.

Today is not a day for analysis and debate; it is a day for gazing into space in dumb-founded silence and, in our faltering way, from the vantage point of our own human vulnerability, to try to take it in.

But it is too vast, and this is not easily done in the case of a war that was unfettered and industrialized: ‘total war’ – the complete mobilization and subordination of all resources, including policy and social systems to the war effort.  We talk about nearly 10 million deaths, but that takes account only of military personal. There were 10 million civilians too.  When the wounded are added in we can talk about 40 million casualties.

Our mind cannot take numbers like that in; at least mine can’t.  Here today we see this in personal and local ways. In the Cork I grew up in only half a century ago (one hundred years is not a long time) I remember no public remembering at the half-century point.   In fact, I arrived in Cork Grammar Junior School in the autumn of 1968 at that half-century point, and every school day from then until 1976 I walked passed the school’s brass war memorial. As students we ignored it.  It was never spoken about. Today, thankfully, in the Ireland that we have become, we now speak about these people, many of whom stayed silent. Our remembering is public, as it should be.

Our remembering takes on real significance when, as we have done in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral for the last four years, ‘we put faces on the names carved in stone’.; when we think of where they lived and who they were; when we think about them in our own locality; when we put ourselves and our families in their shoes.

Looking at the 53 names on the memorial at Ashton School last week – the old Cork Grammar School – I saw the names of the sons of five clergy in this Diocese.  I thought of myself and my sons. It is human nature to think of ourselves, but from that vulnerability is honed the emotion and empathy of our remembering today.  As I sat throughout yesterday keeping vigil in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral looking at the faces of those whose photographs we managed to collect, I saw people kneeling to pray, others leaving in tears, and others transfixed or stunned by it all.

Think of those from Cork who died this very day – having almost made it to the end:

  • Gunner D. Keating (233 Blarney Road, Cork)
  • Leading Seaman James Donovan (Wolfe Tone Street, Cork)
  • Sergeant W. Looney (143 Bandon Road, Cork)
  • Serjeant William Morrissey (8 Albert Place, Fermoy)
  • Private John O’Leary (111 High Street, Cork)

When the bells rang out to signal the end of the war – there was no joy in those homes on this day. And their names are not on this memorial here, or on the memorial in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.  I wonder are their names on any memorial here in Cork? Thomas Warren was from 72 Grand Parade – over there – he died 100 years ago last month. Thomas O’Meara lived at 23 Grand Parade. He was just 19.  Where are their memorials?

Of the c. 4,200 Cork people who died in this war some are remembered no where in Cork. There are only 145 names on this memorial.  There are 377 on that in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral; but that was a Church or Diocesan memorial – they were all members of the Church of Ireland or of the Protestant churches.  Again I ask, is it not time that we should have one memorial where the humanity of Cork, city and county, regardless of religious affiliation, or none, are memorialised together?  It was all so local as we see in the names of the people and the places where they lived – they all deserve a local memorial here in Cork.

The war ended but, truth be told, in the century since, there was not peace.  Still today we live with conflict and human division.

We are here to remember. Now, in our time, we acknowledge the equality of suffering on all sides of such conflict.  What of now? What does our remembering do to us today? It gives us pause for thought and makes us reflective.

Should it not also make us vulnerable, so vulnerable, especially those of us of a liberal mindset, that we are disturbed – vulnerable and disturbed enough to challenge our own complacency.  I want to repeat what I said here in 2016 in the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme.

Is complacency not the achilles heel of the contemporary liberal mindset  – such that we assume that ultimately all will be well? But will it? Complacency does not take account of the fact that history risks repeating itself and that we have not learnt lessons from the past.

As the English philosopher John Gray wrote in 2016 reflecting on our times,  and it is hugely challenging to a liberal like myself and many like me:

‘All that seemed solid in liberalism is melting into air  … the liberal pageant is fading, yet liberals find it hard to get by without believing that they are on what they like to think is the right side of history.  The trouble is that they can only envision the future as a continuation of the recent past. This is so whether their liberalism comes from the right or the left.’

Our remembering therefore, should give us resolve – each one of us – resolve to challenge anything, anyone and everything that risks creating the circumstances in which any of the ghastly horrors of the past might have the remotest possibility of mutating into something horrific that might root in our time.  

We will remember them.  They knew nothing of what our world would be and become.  

Their faces do stare at us across history, and their stories resonate, and we realise that there are questions for us in our time – for us of all outlooks – religious and non-religious, Christians of all ilks, faiths of many types, atheists with their intrinsic philosophy and value systems, humanists with their ethical philosophy of life and concern for humanity in general – all of us must build bridges, join hands, work with our difference, and try to meet minds to address these questions;  what have we become? what are we becoming? Or more menacing still – what do we risk becoming?

The war memorial in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork which commemorates members of the Church of Ireland and Protestant Churches who died in the First World War. Today Bishop Paul Colton called for a shared memorial to be erected in the city or county naming all the c. 4200 Cork people of every background.

 

Posted in Bishop, Centenary, Community Involvement, Cork, Diocese, Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday

Names of All 4200 Cork Casualties of WWI will be on Public View in One Place for the first time in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral on 11th November

There is no one memorial in Cork to the c. 4,200 casualties from Cork City and County.  ‘There should be’ says Bishop Paul Colton, the Church of Ireland Bishop, ‘but there isn’t.’ On Sunday afternoon, 11th November, however, all the names will be presented at the existing Church of Ireland diocesan memorial in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.

Bishop Colton, explains;

To mark this centenary I wanted to come up with a tangible way of recognising and remembering all Cork people who fought and died regardless of their religion or of whether they were religious or not.  They gave their lives. Their families suffered.  There is no division in suffering.  Now, one hundred years on, and especially as we are on the threshold of commemorating the foundation of this State, an important symbol of what we have become here in Cork would be the putting in place of that one memorial.  For today, however, my idea will have to do – it centres on First World War telegrams!

Sitting in the cinema in Mahon Point one evening- a film about the war – it occured to the Bishop how awful it was when the telegram messenger boy walked or cycled up to your house with bad news.  Bishop Colton arranged for 4,200 blank facsimile First World War telegrams to be printed.

He recruited the help of all the students of Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School and Midleton College – three schools in the Diocese – to write one of the names of one of those Cork casualties on each.  The telegrams will be brought to St Fin Barre’s Cathedral by the students of all three schools on Sunday afternoon at the special Service at 3.30 p.m. and poured out at the foot of the war memorial there.

‘Regardless of who they were, these Cork people will be reunited today in our remembering to mark this centenary’, said Bishop Colton.

Students from Bandon Grammar School writing some of the c. 4,200 First World War telegrams

Assisted by the school chaplain, the Reverend Andrew Orr, students from Midleton College writing some of the c. 4,200 First World War telegrams

Bishop Paul Colton with students from Ashton School who wrote telegrams as part of the commemorative events to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Posted in Anniversaries, Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, Cathedral, Centenaries in Ireland, Centenary, Church in Society, Church Services, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Diocese, Education, Midleton College, Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday, Schools in the Diocese

‘Olive Trees’ at centre of First World War Centenary Assemblies in Schools in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Following up on an idea given to him by Eunice Jeffers, in Dunmanway, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, decided to present each school in the Diocese with an olive tree – a symbol of peace and reconciliation.  These are to be the centrepiece of special school assemblies being held in every school today to mark the centenary of the First World War.  The trees were specially imported and were distributed throughout the Diocese earlier this week.

Bishop Colton himself delivered the trees to each of the three second level schools in the Diocese on Tuesday and Wednesday this week and spoke with the students about the continuing significance and impact for us all of the First World War one hundred years on.

Materials for use at the school assemblies were written by Jacqui Wilkinson who lectures in the Church of Ireland Centre at the Institute of Education at Dublin City University.  The materials may be seen here: Armistice 100 Assembly

A tree is presented at Bandon Grammar School at an assembly arranged by the Chaplain, the Reverend Anne Skuse (left).

Sixth years at Midleton College receive the olive tree from the Bishop, watched by school chaplain, the Reverend Andrew Orr (back left) and history teacher, Christopher Baker.

Bishop Paul Colton, presents an Olive Tree at Ashton School, the traditional Symbol of Peace, accepted on behalf of the school by, Kyle Meiklejohn, also included are, Alison Warren-Perry, Brandon Beare-Maythan, Maeve Herlihy, Aron O’Connell, Adrian Landen, Principal, Ellie O’Meara, Luke McCormack and Claire Jermyn.
In the background is the school war memorial listing the names of 53 pupils and past-pupils of the school who died in the First World War.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Posted in Anniversaries, Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, Bishop, Centenaries in Ireland, Centenary, Chaplaincies, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Education, Five Marks of Mission, Schools in the Diocese

Music for Centenary of End of First World War at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

On Sunday, 11th November, the centenary of Armistice Day 1918, marking the end of the First World War, the first sounds will be of a bell and silence.  On each of the four minutes leading up to the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – one minute for each year of the four year war (1914-1918) – a bell of the Cathedral will toll once followed by a minute’s silence.  At 11 a.m. the traditional two minutes’ silence will be observed, after which, as bells of churches did in 1918, all 12 Cathedral bells will ring out before the morning Service – a Requiem Eucharist, at 11.15 a.m.

The names of all those on the Cathedral memorial and names that have been handed in by Cork people of all nationalities will be read out at that morning Service.  That Service will begin with the choir singing words in German of an introit by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672): Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren sterben – words from the Book of Revelation ‘Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.’

The setting of the music of the liturgy will be Requiem by Gabriel Fauré.   Sung in Latin the texts are supremely appropriate to the occasion, such as ‘Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord…’ and ‘Lord, have mercy’.  Following the reading of the names, Libera me is sung: ‘Free me, O Lord, from everlasting death …’   During Holy Communion, Pie Jesu is sung: ‘Merciful Lord Jesus, grant them rest.’  In addition some traditional hymns will be sung at the Service, which will conclude with In Paradisum: ‘May the angels lead thee into paradise.’  And the bishop, clergy and people will leave in silence.

In the afternoon, at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday 11th November there will be a Service to Commemorate the End of the First World War. Music and symbolism, as well as silence, will be at the heart of this Service which will be attended by representatives of other churches, public representatives, members of the Defence Forces, community representatives, veterans, and the consular corps.

An original First World War wooden cross, which was a temporary marker on a grave on the Western Front, ordinarily on view in the Cathedral, will be placed centrally to symbolise the 10 million of the war of all nations who died, and the Easter candle, speaking of the hope of resurrection, will light beside it.  At the heart of this Service will be ‘Lord, thou hast been our refuge from one generation to another’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams. As it is sung, young people from the three second level schools in the Diocese will carry forward the facsimile First World War telegrams they have written – all 4,200 of them – containing the names of people from Cork who died.  These will be poured out at the foot of the Cathedral’s war memorial column.

The Director Music at the Cathedral, Mr Peter Stobart explains his choice:

The central musical item at the Commemoration is a setting of text from Psalm 90 by Ralph Vaughan Williams Lord, thou hast been our refuge. It combines the words of the psalm with passages from the hymn O God, our help in ages past which is traditionally used at times of Remembrance. The hymn tune is quoted in the choir, in the  organ and in a part for solo trumpet. This brings to mind the role of the trumpet or bugle playing The Last Post , which will also feature in our liturgy. In 1914, Vaughan Williams at the age of 42 signed up to the Royal Army Medical Corps and acted as a stretcher bearer in France. In 1917 he transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

In addition to the canticle ‘Hail gladdening light’, the hymns chosen are ‘All my hope on God is founded’, ‘Rejoice, O land…’, and, especially appropriate given the theme of reconciliation and peace, and remembering those from all nations who died – ‘Christ is the world’s true light’ which includes these words:

In Christ all races meet,
their ancient feuds forgetting,
the whole round world complete,
from sunrise to its setting: …
The world has waited long,
has travailed long in pain;
To heal its ancient wrong,
come, Prince of Peace, and reign.

The Service will conclude with the organ music Marche Hèroïque by Herbert Brewer.

The weekend of remembrance will begin in the Cathedral with a very different event hosted by the Cork Branch of the Western Front Association on Friday, 9th November at 7.30 p.m. – ‘An Evening of Remembrance in Music, Song and Story.’ The Barrack Street Band will take the lead with familiar music from many nations.  Timothy O’Sullivan will sing ‘Oft in the stilly night’, and Emily Rose Doyle will sing ‘In the arms of an angel’ .  Sarah Barry will sing ‘Willie McBride’.  2018 is the 200th anniversary year of the first performance in Austria of the carol ‘Silent Night’ and all three vocalists will sing it.  Jimmy Crowley will perform ‘The Gallant Munsters’ and ‘I know my Love’.  A guitarist, Liam Hutchinson, will play ‘The Green Fields of France’.  Before ‘The Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ played by a trumpeter, a piper will play a lament.

The choir of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork under the direction of Mr Peter Stobart, Director of Music.

Posted in Cathedral, Cathedral Choir, Centenaries in Ireland, Centenary, Church in Society, Church Music, Church Services, Civic Service, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Cork, Reconciliation, Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday, Schools in the Diocese

Faces of Victims, Olive Trees, Telegrams and Pilgrimage ~ Cork, Cloyne and Ross commemorates the end of the First World War

In common with churches, community groups, regions and nations around the world, the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross will be commemorating the end of the First World War in the coming days.

The following information is provided for the interest of members of the public and the media.  Planning the commemorations in partnership with others in the Diocese and in Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, said that:

the primary function is to remember those who died, who were wounded, or who, either themselves, or with others, lived with those wounds well into the Twentieth Century.  100 years is not a long time; I am 58.  We are still living with the outcomes of that war, and in our remembering we do well also to reflect on the challenges facing our world today which, in many places, is still crying out for justice and peace.

There are a number of key elements in the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Remembrance Programme.

Olive Trees

Bishop Colton is making a gift of an olive tree (symbol of peace) to each school in the Diocese, and materials for a special school assembly of remembrance with prayers for peace have been prepared by Jacqui Wilkinson.  Bishop Colton said ‘I was given the idea of the olive tree by Eunice Jeffers from Dunmanway, who is one of the people involved in our Diocesan Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Project.’

The trees, sourced by Olive Burns, will be delivered on Tuesday 6th November.  In  addition, students are being encouraged to look for war memorials in their churches and communities, and to find out about the people being commemorated.  Alternatively, the suggestion is that children research flags and badges around the world that incorporate the olive branch, or that they research the story behind the flag of the United Nations.  Students are asked to find out what the Quakers teach about war and peace, and to look into some of the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Prayers will be written for use at the assemblies, and a reading list for children about current areas of conflict in the world is suggested. Bishop Colton will visit a number of the schools to attend those assemblies.

Most of the schools are holding their special assemblies on Friday morning, 9th November.

Olive trees ready for distribution

Telegrams

‘Unlike other parts of the world, and indeed some other counties in Ireland, in Cork,’ said Bishop Colton, ‘there is no one memorial to all of the people – approximately 4,200 of them  – from our city and county who died in the First World War.’

This set the Bishop thinking and so he came up with the idea, for this centenary commemoration, of the telegram – the means by which so many received the devastating news of the loss of their loved one.  The Bishop has had 4200 blank facsimile telegrams printed.

Facsimile Telegram

The young people in the three second level schools in the Diocese – Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, and Midleton College – are each, with the support of school chaplains and history teachers, writing one name on each of the 4,200 telegrams of a Cork person who died in the First World War. Bishop Colton will be visiting the students in some of the schools to see the work in progress.

Students from the schools will be at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, for the Service of Commemoration of the End of the First World War to present these as an act of remembrance, on Sunday afternoon, 11th November at 3.30 p.m.  The Service is open to everyone and will be attended by people from throughout the City and County, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, public representatives, members of the defence forces, veteran organisations, community groups and the consular corps in Cork.

Putting Faces on the Names

Names engraved on stone only tell part of the story. But, what did they look like?  In 2014, Bishop Colton and the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, had a very strong response to their request for photographs that had been hidden away in family albums or even attics.  A visual display – ‘Putting Faces on the Names’ – has been running for the last four years.  Tens of thousands of visitors to St Fin Barre’s Cathedral (where it is placed) have been to see it.  The former British Ambassador to Ireland, Sir Dominick Chilcott, described it as ‘mesmerising’.  ‘We deliberately scanned the photos just as they were given to us, with no enhancement,’ explained the Bishop – ‘this is all that remains of what these people looked like.’

One of the images from the visual memorial – Putting Faces on the Names – which has been running in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork since 2014.

This weekend will mark the last opportunity to visit and see this visual memorial before it is closed and archived.  It will be closed by the Bishop at the Service of Commemoration on Sunday afternoon at 3.30 p.m. in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

Pilgrimage on Saturday, 10th November

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork will be open as a place of pilgrimage and prayer beginning with Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. on Saturday, 10th November and ending at 5 p.m.  Prayers of remembrance and for peace will be said on the hour each hour.  The Bishop himself, together with the Dean of Cork, will be present throughout the day to greet pilgrims and visitors.  The visual memorial will be available for all to see.

Sunday, 11th November

On Sunday, 11th November there will be special Services throughout Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  In Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork on each of the four minutes (one for each year of the First World War) before 11 a.m. a bell will ring once and silence will be kept.  At 11 a.m. the traditional two minutes silence will be kept following which, at 11.02 a.m. the bells of the Cathedral will ring out.  The Sunday morning Eucharist will be a Requiem with the music Requiem by Gabriel Fauré.  Instead of a sermon the names of those who commemorated in the Cathedral memorials will be read out – nearly 400 of them.

Bishop Colton has been invited by the Royal British Legion to give an oration at the War Memorial at the Grand Parade at the annual Act of Remembrance there at lunchtime.

A Service of Commemoration to mark the end of the First World War will take place on Sunday  at 3.30 p.m. in Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

All are welcome at all these events and Services.  Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, on behalf of the Diocese, has published a full list of the events:

Media – for further information, please contact:

Sam Wynn ~  Church of Ireland Diocesan Communications Officer
Telephone:   +353 (0)86 813 7659
 mail:  media@corkchurchofireland.com

 

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