The bishop of the UK armed forces, Richard Moth, celebrated a Requiem Mass in the Cathedral Church of St. Michael & St. George, Aldershot, on Sunday for all who died in the First World War.
Across the territory of the Bishopric of the Forces (anywhere in the world that United Kingdom military personnel are serving or deployed), Masses and prayers were offered to honour the fallen.
The Bishop asked parishioners to remember very especially in prayer all those who died in the First World War and in conflicts since. He also invited people to “pray especially for peace at a time when so many parts of the world suffer the consequences of current conflicts.”
In his homily, the Bishop Moth spoke about the scale of the human sacrifice: “The military and civilian casualties of World War One exceeded the current population of Canada (37 million) and the number of missing surpassed the current population of Denmark (6 million).
“There isn’t a family in the land who hasn’t been affected by this conflict – it is part of every family’s DNA.”
And he reflected on the importance of the lessons of history: “We need to learn from and pray about the lessons of history. War is commemorated not to glorify conflict, but to keep the horrors of the past etched in our memory and not to lose sight of the value of human sacrifice. Until we learn from our history, we are not open to the gift of the peace and to the hope of resurrection.”
Bishop Moth represented the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, at the World War One Memorial Service at Glasgow Cathedral on Monday 4th August.
Masses were celebrated in every Catholic Cathedral in England & Wales on or near Sunday 3rd August to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
On the Net:
A WWI reflection by Bishop Moth: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/ww1-reflection-art-040814