What a memorable day we had on Sunday, we had an early start to get seats in the Belfast City hall commemoration service. We had time to reflect and savour the beautiful peace of experiencing and taking in the new garden which was just beside us. The seagull’s cries were so poignant during the few moments of silence between the verses of that great sea hymn ‘Eternal father strong to save’. It really filled up the wells of emotion, emphasizing the power of the sea and how we must stand in awe of it.
Man has lived on travel and especially travel by sea which always will involve risk. Rev Gilpin’s address was dignified and succinct, he emphasized the permanence of this memorial to the lost souls represented by the granite and the diversity of the families affected by tragedy which was represented but the diverse range of flowers. This memorial will be here in perpetuity and acts as a reminder of the legacy and lessons learnt from the tragedy of Titanic in terms of safety at sea. The fresh smells remind us of life continuing as we carry on refreshed and renewed with the memory of the lost souls. Una Reilly, MBE spoke well on behalf of the Titanic Society reminding us of the great achievement and Brian Kennedy rendition really did ‘raise us up’ especially when he allowed us to sing with him.
Then on to St Peter’s Cathedral for the ‘Requiem to the lost souls of Titanic composed by Philip Hammond. The music was exquisite, an unlifting tribute to those lost souls. The calm and silence of the setting was so moving as the Kyrie unfolded and then suddenly the sun came pouring in onto the balcony lighting up the choir boys who were singing with all their might and reverence almost lifting the roof. The stillness at times was serene. The Benedictus was the highlight with the endless echoes lifting us up to heaven.
This work is a masterpiece and what a privilege to be at the world premier in such an august setting.