Comments Following the First World War Service

ww1-groupDuring the past week we’ve had many emails and phone calls expressing how people responded to the Service to commemorate the beginning the the first world war. We would like to share some of these thoughts with you.

So far, with only one exception, all have been positive in the sense that people were moved by what was said during the service. We received one negative email which criticised the service for being pro-war. We think it is fair to say that no person, from the Church, the UK Government, the Military and Veterans or from Glasgow City Council who was involved in the preparation of the service could be said to be in favour of war. We do not believe that any part of the service could, in any way, be said to promote the waging of war.

I think the service was the finest, most beautiful & emotive remembrance I have ever seen! – Ian

My childrens’ great-grandfather was Captain Ronald Rose, Cameronians, whose diary was read out at the service. We shall appreciate having such a wonderful family momento [the order of service]  of his service and his sacrifice. Michael

Well done again to everyone for a memorable service.  The two young ladies, one who spoke as the wife of the poet Edward Thomas and the other who spoke about her experience with ‘her soldier’ in the visit to the cemetary, will last long in our memory.  If it is appropriate and possible please thank them and your Minister Rev Laurence Whitley who also spoke so well. – Roger and Barbara

This was a highly memorable and beautiful service, the words and music will resonate in my memory for a long time – in fact, as the last speaker said, they have changed me. – Sarah

My father and two uncles were young officers on the Somme in the last year of World War 1. All survived although Uncle Joe was shot in the head and blinded. The other uncle and my father were both awarded the Military Cross. So Monday’s commemoration had special poignancy in our family. – Phillip

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, it will live in my memory for a long time. – Bobby

The service was indeed very moving … Please pass on my grateful thanks to anyone in the Cathedral who helped to make it such an important and memorable day for all. – Malcolm

…beautiful and immensely moving Service of Commemmoration on Monday 4 August. I watched the service on TV and was so moved – particularly by the last two readings. I would love to have those words in front of me. – Ian

This was a wonderful service and we were very moved by it and captivated by the varied contributions.  – Hilary

…the memory of it will stay with me till the end of my days. – Norma

I was very moved by the beautiful service broadcast on 4 august from your Cathedral which highlighted the whole Commonwealth in such a special way – the music, readings, everything were wonderful. – Audrey

For a heart-rendingly beautiful and powerful service, Deo gratias, with all who contributed to its creation. – Sally

Just a line from London to acknowledge the wonder that was yesterday’s morning’s World War 1 Commemoration Service at Glasgow Cathedral. I saw the BBC interview earlier in which you mentioned that the service had been a year in the planning.  Not surprising.  The deep meanings and significances that emerged from the service were, if simple in concept,  far reaching, deeply touching and universally
applicable.  The arms of the planning team were clearly open wide, and God-guided may I say.  I want to send you and your team my deepest gratitude and acknowledgement for the lightest of touches and yet the profoundest of approaches with which you wrought this unforgettable event.  – Lesley

From John, the BBC Director:

Laurence had put together such an inspiring service honouring the great contribution by the men and women of the Commonwealth to the First World War and sensitively reminding us of the ultimate sacrifice that so many gave. Many of the BBC team mentioned how humbling they found the experience and how grateful they were at being able to contribute to sharing this with viewers all over the world.

We all left the Cathedral with very fond memories of our time there and I would be most grateful if you would convey the appreciation of the BBC to all those who worked behind-the-scenes and who assisted us so kindly and made us feel so welcome.

I just wanted to let you know that in the end I watched the service on television (with an elderly relative who was keen to watch it too) whilst in Glasgow from the Commonwealth Games. I found it a wonderful occasion; I completely agreed with the decision not to have a sermon and found the handing over of the candles to the younger generation particularly touching and appropriate. – Ann

I had the privilege of watching the service this morning. It was a truly magnificent service . – Stuart

I was very moved y the Remembrance Service held in the Cathedral yesterday morning. – Lesley