Northern Ireland news

Leader of the Catholic Church to attend Armistice service in Belfast

The event will be held tomorrow at St Anne's Cathedral

ARCHBISHOP Eamon Martin is to attend an event in Belfast tomorrow to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice of the First World War.

It will be the first time a Catholic Primate has spoken at such an event in St Anne's Cathedral.

It will also be the last major commemoration of the centenary of the First World War and takes place at the same time as services in Dublin, Glasgow and Cardiff and ahead of the service at Westminster Abbey in London tomorrow evening.

All of those from Ireland involved in the war, on the home front as well as all others from all nations will be remembered at the service, which will be led by Dean of Belfast Stephen Forde.

Church leaders from across Ireland will take part, including Church of Ireland Primate Dr Richard Clarke, Presbyterian Moderator Dr Charles McMullen and Methodist President Rev Bill Davison.

In a significant change to traditional commemoration services, there will be a moment of reflection rather than an act of remembrance. Instead of laying wreaths, several volumes of Ireland's Memorial Records will be laid at a field altar.

The books will be carried by four people who have lost family members the war and at the end of the service, a lantern will be carried out from the cathedral in commemoration of the fallen.

The order of service will contain a message from Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who will refer to the greater sensitivity now shown in Ireland to the once-divisive issue of the Great War.

Belfast-born poet Michael Longley will also read his acclaimed work Ceasefire.

Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O'Neill is also due to represent her party at the Remembrance Day Service at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin tomorrow.

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