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Wartime fatuity in Hereford

07 November 2014

November 7th, 1914.

HOW completely out of touch with the tradition or the spirit of the Catholic Church - we had almost added with common sense - are the authorities of Hereford Cathedral an announcement in the Hereford Times  serves to show. In its Saturday issue last week was the following notice: "At Hereford Cathedral tomorrow, in common with all churches on All Saints' Day this year, the services will partake of the character of memorial services for our brave soldiers and sailors who have fallen in our country's service. At Evensong, at the Cathedral, the anthem will be 'These are they which came out of great tribulation' (Dykes), the Dead March will be played at the close of the service, followed by a muffled peal on the Cathedral bells."

We have not a word to say, of course, against the commemoration of our slain defenders, but there is everything to be said against this way of commemorating them. It is quite preposterous to oust the Saints from their place this year, and to sing "For all the Saints who from their labours rest" with a reference rather to those who have fallen on the battlefield than to those who have won great victories in the spiritual combat. The Chapter of Hereford appears to have discovered late in the day that there should be memorials of the faithful departed, but, instead of observing All Souls' Day for the purpose, they must needs spoil All Saints' Day. . . Is it possible that there is a single church where the fatuity of the proceedings at Hereford Cathedral has its counterpart?

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