Ahead of Remembrance Sunday in Northern Ireland yesterday the leaders of Ireland’s main churches came together to reflect at this particular time in a specially recorded joint video message.
Filmed separately in their studies, offices and places of worship last week, the leaders of the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Ireland, and the Irish Council of Churches, remember the sacrifice made by so many in the two world wars and other conflicts, lamenting the loss of life on all sides. At the same time, they acknowledge the deep sense of loss felt by those who have lost loved ones to Coronavirus and have not been able to grieve fully.
In the video, which lasts just under two minutes, each Church leader voices a portion of their 139–word joint statement to camera, over Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’, from the composer’s ‘Enigma Variations’. This reflective piece of music has become, over many years, associated with various acts of remembrance. The video concludes with each Church leader saying, ‘Amen’.
Church Leaders’ joint statement in full:
“As leaders of the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in Ireland, and the Irish Council of Churches, we reflect together at this time of Remembrance.We acknowledge the deep sense of loss felt by many in our land at this time, and thank God for a moment to pause, to pray and be thankful.We remember the sacrifice of so many in the two world wars and other conflicts, lamenting this loss of life on all sides.Further, we are keenly aware of the acute pain felt by bereaved families who have lost loved ones during the current Coronavirus pandemic.They have often been unable to mark their passing in ways which would honour their memory and help to heal the wound of their loss.We pray for you in your time of distress. Amen.”
Rt Rev Dr David Bruce
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
Most Rev John McDowell
Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh & Primate of All Ireland
Rev Dr Thomas McKnight
President of the Methodist Church in Ireland
Most Rev Eamon Martin
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh & Primate of all Ireland
Very Rev Dr Ivan Patterson
President of the Irish Council of Churches