Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

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JW
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Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by JW »

The SSG Planner indicates no Gloria for the one Mass for the War Dead permitted this Sunday. However, we shall be singing the Gloria - our PP considers that we should sing it as a song of thanksgiving for the sacrifice and example of so many and he is going to introduce the Gloria accordingly on Sunday.

Personally, this sounds like a good idea. The Southwark Directory is silent on the issue.

Anyone wish to discuss?
JW

alan29
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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by alan29 »

Personally I think that "glory" is a bit of a dodgy word when it comes to matters of war.

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mcb
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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by mcb »

alan29 wrote:Personally I think that "glory" is a bit of a dodgy word when it comes to matters of war.

You'd be right if Remembrance Sunday was an occasion for remembering wars, Alan. But it's an occasion for remembering those who died in wars, and surely that's a different matter?

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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by alan29 »

You are probably right, but to my mind there is still a certain jingoistic tinge abroad.
Maybe its that "Glory" is so close to "Rejoice!" of unhappy memory.

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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by JW »

I think we can all agree that war is evil and that it seems more difficult to justify as technology becomes more advanced. That doesn't mean that individuals don't perform acts of great sacrifice in wars (as well as great atrocities). I have to say that our PP has experience of leading a parish where armed conflict was taking place among his parishoners, so he knows of what he speaks.

The G word will be in most Masses that Sunday anyway: the response to the Sunday 32C psalm is "I shall be filled when I awake with the sight of your glory, O Lord". The Gloria is essentially a hymn to God, not to the fallen. It could be argued that there should be a Gloria in every Sunday Mass outside of Advent and Lent.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13.
JW

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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by blackthorn fairy »

We shall not be singing a Gloria. PP decided it.

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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by HallamPhil »

We won't be singing the Glory at the 1030 which will be a Mass for all dead through war, however for all other Masses we shall sing the glory.
as you indicate the word 'glory' does appear in the psalm response. We may take this to be about resurrection after death although this was surely not intended by the writer of the psalm!

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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by blackthorn fairy »

Well, we did sing the Gloria after all, as it was not PP who was celebrating - so that's all right then.

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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by dmu3tem »

[quote="JW"] The Gloria is essentially a hymn to God, not to the fallen.

Therefore note the text:

'Glory to God in the highest,
and peaceto God's people on earth...' ('old translation')

The term 'Glory' of course is difficult:

[1] I do not see why we should not celebrate the 'achievements' of people in war, provided it was in a manifestly good cause. In WWII we (and other peoples - especially the Slavs) were fighting for our existance. If the Germans had won they had plans to ship every surviving British male over the age of 18 (I think) to slave labour camps in Scandinavia; and of course this pales into insignificance when compared with what they did in Russia or to the Jews. They had to be stopped; and sadly this meant that many people got killed. At the very least then we were dealing with the lesser of two rather nasty evils. I think that if people faced up to this, and made decisions - however flawed - as honestly as they could then their memory should be recalled. I was also most impressed by the Quaker person I saw on one of the remembrance programmes who refused to join up but was prepared to engage in difficult, unpleasant and dangerous work helping refugees. I felt he really had made a genuine effort to face up to the issues in an unflinching way. There is a vast difference between this and the logic that underpinned the attitudes of pacifists such as Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett, who were not prepared to do anything constructive to help our 'war effort'. Britten, one should also note, accepted a lucrative commission to write a Symphonia Da Requiem for the Japanese in 1940 - at the very time they were carrying out vast attrocities against the Chinese! It is true that the Japanese did not like what he produced; but at the very least it shows he was myopically naive.

[2] The issue is more difficult with other conflicts. On WWI, for example, it is usual to think that its 'rightness' - from the British point of view - is harder to justify. However, we should bear in mind the following points:
[a] We entered the war to protect Belgium. That was the 'trigger'; and without it we might well not have honoured our treaty obligations (such as they were) to the French and Russians. The Germans (for good strategic reasons of their own) launched an unprovoked attack against another country. If you see someone being mugged in the street you cannot just 'stand by on the other side and do nothing'. At the very least you have to make a push - however small - to get help: and remember there was no UN in 1914. Nothing less than force would have stopped the Germans. We should also note that the German troops in 1914 adopted a deliberate policy of terror against French and Belgian civilians in the hope that this would cow resistance.
[b] The Germans had been throwing their weight about Europe for about 2 decades before 1914; and it was this aggressive posturing that in large measure led to the emergence of a hostile alliance against them. France and Russia felt they had to protect themselves against such bullying tactics; and we felt the same when the Germans started to build a large fleet.
[c] The terms the Germans handed out to the Russians were much harsher than those given to them a year later at Versailles. Huge tracts of western Russia were in under Austro-German military occupation between 1918-19 and the area was used as a 'bread-basket' to relieve German food shortages. In effect this was 'Lebensraum'.
[d] The German reactions to Versailles were those of a spoilt child that has had its sweets taken away from it; and they could not see the difference between this and the terms they had meeted out to the Russians. All they could see was their greviences; they displayed a consistent inability to see the other side's point of view. Now many people say the terms were too harsh; but if they had been enforced the Germans would have been unable to start a 'second round'. The British/American/French mistake was to do enough to keep the Germans antagonistic and too little to prevent them from starting the conflict again. Given the German responses to defeat I think it very difficult to see how any terms - however lenient - would have been enough to counteract German feelings of wounded pride. I think it was the realisation of this mistake that led to Allies in 1942 to demand unconditional surrender. You could not leave Hitler in power after a negotiated settlement.

[3] The same points - ultimately - apply to the two Gulf Wars against Iraq:

[a] The first war was triggered by Saddam Hussein's unprovoked occupation of Kuweit; so our moral position was the same as with Belgium, even if we discount the undoubted fact that our oil interests were at stake. We had to stop another group of people being 'beaten up'.
[b] Whatever the rights and wrongs about Hussein's alleged possession of chemical and nuclear weapons, the fundamental fact was that, after a decade of wrangling, he was not a man who could be trusted. Given half a chance it was likely he would attack again and make a push to acquire weapons with which to terrorise everybody. We were in the same position as that vis-a-vis Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1930s we bent over backwards to give Hitler the benefit of the doubt. We would have been extremely foolish to repeat the mistake in the 2000s, even if one accepts the proposition that Hussein was a less dangerous and unpleasant person than the Furhrer.

[4] The whole point of the West's involvement in Afghanistan is to prevent a repetition of 9/11. The outstanding fact was that the Taliban were giving aid and comfort to Al Quaeda. They therefore had to be removed - and kept out of power- and the resulting 'power vacuum' had to be filled. Our failure to do the same in Somalia (and to some extent other parts of Saharan Africa) and its consequences is plain for all to see.

None of this is pleasant. Noone in their right mind for a second should admire killing - especially if it is innocents who are caught in the crossfire; but experience shows that a total unwillingness to use force is often counterproductive, as the Jewish experience up to the holocaust has so frequently demonstrated. Anyone who is prepared to fight (and put their lives on the line) in such circumstances should be recognised and supported; and I know that I am such a coward that I very much doubt whether I would meet such a challenge if 'put to the test'. That is what 'Glory' should mean. This should not be confused with grandiloquent 'Louis XIV' type macho celebrations of conquest.
T.E.Muir

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VML
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Re: Gloria at Mass for the War Dead on Remembrance Sunday

Post by VML »

We did sing the Gloria.
We are also privileged to have the ARRC, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps base at Imjin Barracks in our parish. Many come regularly to Mass and are very active in the parish. It is impressive when they turn out in the uniforms of so many nations working together. We have had thirteen different countries represented. Yesterday they were the readers, one US and one Spanish. At the end of Mass four of them read the prayer of St Francis, in turn, lines in Spanish, Italian, German and French. It made a huge impression on the assembly.
Remembrance, and Requiem, but no sense of, for want of a better word, triumphalism.

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