C of I Archbishop treads carefully at Arbour Hill

As a postscript to last October’s post on Church of Ireland responses to the 1916 Rising in the Jubilee Year of 1966, it was interesting to note that this year, May 2013, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Dr Jackson was the invited preacher at the commemorative Mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Arbour Hill (home to the chaplaincy of the Defence Forces).This was the first time a Church of Ireland Archbishop delivered an address at the annual event which was attended by President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and a number of Government ministers.

This writer was present in the church, and it was notable that the Archbishop did not refer directly once to the Rising or its leaders- in terms either positive or, which would hardly have been politic given the occasion, negative.  This formed a strong contrast with Irish Anglican bishops’ sermons in 1966. Perhaps he was treading carefully. The only new ground broken was the fact of the invitation to preach itself. Maybe there will be something more concrete said in three years’ time, on the actual centenary.

The service was followed by a ceremony at the graveside of the 1916 leaders during which representatives of a number of different faiths read prayers.
Here is a link to the Archbishop’s address, on the Dublin diocesan website.
And here is a link to an interesting opinion piece on the day’s events by Tom McGurk, published in the Daily Mail.

Church and political leaders process to the rebels' graves at 1916 ceremony

Church and political leaders process to the rebels’ graves at 1916 ceremony

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