On Friday 8 November the Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, gave the Address at the annual Remembrance Service for the Greater London Authority at City Hall. The service was attended by both veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces as well as civic leaders from the London Boroughs.
In his Address Archbishop Vincent reflected on the meaning of the occasion, the sacrifice made by members of the armed forces during conflicts and the call for renewal in ourselves:
“Much of our Service today resonates with the call to duty, to which they responded so thoroughly and so courageously. We will indeed remember them.”
“Today is also a day of Commitment. It is a day for us, for each one of us, to renew within ourselves the desire to serve. The words to which we will shortly respond describe that commitment in broad terms: to honour the living; to strive for peace; to heal the wounds of conflict; to work for justice.”
The Archbishop also considered the colours of the poppy and their historic meaning in Christian tradition:
“Green and red: these are the colours of the poppies we wear today. Green the colour of eternal life; red the colour of sacrifice, of shed blood, most of all that in the sacrifice of Christ himself.”
“May these poppies, which will be so much in prominence in coming days, truly help us to remember and honour the dead. May they also help to keep alive in our hearts the promise of eternal salvation, the greatest invitation offered by God to us all.”
The service was led by Canon Giles Goddard, Chaplain to the City Hall Branch of the Royal British Legion. Other speakers at the Service included the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, as well as representatives from the Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Jewish communities who led the Act of Commitment.
At 11 o’clock a two minutes Silence was observed, preceded and followed by the sounding of the Last Post and Reveille, after which traditional Poppy Wreaths were laid.
For more photos of the Remembrance Service visit the diocese Flickr site