Liturgical Advisory Committee launches resource for marking centenary of the end of the War of Independence


The Liturgical Advisory Committee (LAC) of the Church of Ireland has published a resource for use in parishes marking the Centenary of the End of the War of Independence, which will take place on Sunday, 11th July 2021.

The published resource includes (in PDF and Word formats):
• an introduction setting the historical context, written by Dr Marie Coleman (Reader in History, Queen’s University Belfast, and a member of the Church’s Historical Centenaries Working Group);
• a Service of the Word to mark the Centenary of the End of the War of Independence;
• a wide selection of suggested Scripture readings; and
• a range of prayers in contemporary and traditional language.

This follows the publication of similar liturgies in recent years to mark the centenaries of the First World War, the Easter Rising, the Battle of the Somme, and most recently the Opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament. Liturgical material for use at centenary events in parishes and local communities, and a Service of Light for the reconciliation of local communities, has also been produced.

The Rt Revd Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and Chair of the Historical Centenaries Working Group, stated: “The primary roles of the Church include worship and prayer, and to bear witness to the Christian message of love and reconciliation. These liturgies commissioned by the Historical Centenaries Working Group and devised by the Liturgical Advisory Committee, are designed to assist members of the Church of Ireland to do exactly these things as we commemorate the events of this Decade of Centenaries.”

In her introduction, Dr Coleman remarks that it cannot be denied that the War of Independence had been “a difficult period for church members many of whom were victims of personal, sometimes fatal, injuries, or damage to their property.”

A number of prominent members made a significant contribution to the achievement of Irish independence but the subsequent Anglo-Irish Treaty and the creation of the Irish Free State “was a wrench for many Church members in breaking ancestral ties with Britain.”

A contemporary editorial in the Church of Ireland Gazette (on 13th January 1922) noted honestly that many would not “regard the change which is impending with any great enthusiasm” but recognised the community’s willingness to accept the new situation and to “give their whole-hearted and active support to the Irish Free State.”

The resource is available on the Church of Ireland website at this link: