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Friday, March 24, 2017
For the first time - all faiths at the Cenotaph
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 For the first time, Orthodox, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Buddhists will be represented at this Sunday's memorial service at the Cenotaph. Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, has sanctioned the change to the ceremony to recognise the contribution of people from other faiths who fought for Britain. The Indian army lost 161,000 men in the two world wars. Three million fought in the second world war and 140,000 in the first. The Queen has also agreed to a change to the prayers used during the service for those who died 'in the service of their country and of the crown'. People attending the service will sing the hymn Oh God Our Help in Ages Past, taken from Psalm 90, a text acknowledged by Christian, Muslim and Jewish denominations. British Muslims have welcomed the change to the ceremony. Zaki Badawi, chair of the Council of Imams and Mosques, said: "It is an extremely welcome development and yet another step in the inclusion of minorities in the mainstream of the British people." Members of the Catholic armed forces will be represented at the Cenotaph this year by members of the RAF chaplaincy. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Westminster cathedral at 10am. The celebrant will be Mgr George Stack. The homily is being given by Fr Tom Burns, principal chaplain to the Navy.
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