Armistice Day celebrated in Sydney

 

Armistice Day celebrated in Sydney

Author: 

Russell Powell

“To die for one’s country is an act of love for your fellow beings and we honour them today.” said Archbishop Davies, as bells rang out signalled 100 years since the end of the Great War.

The Governor, Premier and Lord Mayor gathered in St Andrew’s Cathedral, prior to the official service at the Cenotaph, to give thanks in the same way, even using some of the same words as the Cathedral service in 1918.

“About 8 million civilians were also killed, let alone another 23 million wounded soldiers, sailors and airmen. It was a war of tragic loss on a scale the world had not seen before.  

Our own country’s casualties included the death of 60,000 Australians as well as 150,000 citizens wounded, representing more than 6% of the Australian population.” Archbishop Davies told the congregation. “While death may come to us all, the death of the young, cut short in the flower of their lives has a poignancy of its own. Some of the gravestones of World War I tell the story of the cost of peace.”

The words of Jesus read by our Premier (who read the New Testament reading) state it so eloquently: ‘Greater love has no one than this - to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ Jesus’ death brings hope, his cross signals the end of death. And this was known by many soldiers in World War I, where their headstones reveal a hope that is secure beyond the grave.​

“One hundred years ago, the bells rang out from churches across Sydney to celebrate Armistice Day. The bells of St Andrew’s Cathedral will be rung this morning at one minute to 11 for the same purpose, and as the Town Hall strikes 11 o’clock, I trust those in George Street will take the opportunity to stop their hurried lives, pause, pray, and give thanks to God for the peace that we enjoy in this land.” the Archbishop said.

“Yet the peace that passes all understanding is also to be grasped, at God’s gracious invitation, which too was won at great cost, the costliest death of all, accomplishing the death of death itself.” Archbishop said at the conclusion of his sermon in Sydney. “It is not without reason that Jesus is described as the Prince of peace, for he alone brings that lasting peace, that surpasses the temporality of this world, that bring us the hope of sins forgiven and an inheritance of everlasting life.

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