Wed, 20 Oct 2021

DUBLIN, Ireland: Irish Church leaders will conduct a special service to remember the centenaries of the establishment of Northern Ireland and the Partition of Ireland in 1921.

The service, a special Service of Reflection and Hope, will be held on October 21.

The Queen is expected to attend the service.

The service will take place at Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh, which has been recognized as Ireland's ecclesiastical capital since the 5th Century.

Both the Irish Catholic and Anglican primates of Ireland are headquartered in Armagh in separate cathedrals.

The ecumenical service will bring together the Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian churches of Ireland.

The service will be an opportunity "to encourage inter-community peace and reconciliation through dialogue with a focus on relationships," according to a church statement.

Church officials further said they were "conscious that these centenaries would highlight painful moments from our past which continue to impact relationships in our present", but that they "felt a responsibility as Christian leaders to explore the opportunity to deepen the work of reconciliation in a context of respectful dialogue".

The church recognized today's unity seen across the British island and Ireland, noting "the reality that we have to live in a shared space on these islands, and to make them a place of belonging and welcome for all".

"We recognise the need to better respect our differences, but we must learn 'to differ well' and be prepared to listen and show charity to those with different views and aspirationsWe cannot undo the past, but we can learn from it, and we all have a responsibility to contribute to the healing of relationships from our different perspectives," the statement said.

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