Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic

Episcopal News Service reports Church joins Titanic remembrances:

ens_041312_Titanic-500x338.jpgWhen people mark the 100th anniversary April 15 of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Anglicans and Episcopalians will be among them.

Memorial services are planned on both sides of the Atlantic to commemorate the loss of the 1,514 people who died when the ship sank nearly five days after it left Southampton, England on its maiden crossing bound for New York. Seven hundred and ten people survived after the ship struck an iceberg.

In Southampton, Episcopal Diocese of New York Bishop Mark S. Sisk will be a guest of Southampton Bishop Suffragan Jonathan H. Frost at events marking the anniversary. Sisk will preach at the 100th anniversary commemorative service at Southampton’s St. Mary’s Church at 2 p.m. local time on April 15.

On Long Island, New York, at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Sayville the 10 a.m. Eucharist will be dedicated to “in memory of Edith Corse Evans and those aboard the RMS Titanic who perished with her on April 15, 1912,” according to the parish’s website.

Evans and her sister, Lena Cadwalader Evans, often spent summers with their grandfather, Israel Corse Jr., in West Sayville, according to the parish’s April newsletter. The family attended St. Ann’s during their stay. Corse donated the funds with which to build the rectory. Evans had booked first-class passage on the great new liner, RMS Titanic for a quick trip home from a family funeral. She gave her place on the last lifeboat to her cousin, who had children waiting at home, according to the newsletter…(more services in news story)

David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church comments on the day and the opening of a new museum:

Here in Ireland, it became something of a nostalgia-fest – an opportunity to revisit the story of Irish emigration to the US. I’m old enough to remember being taken to see the big ships calling in Cork Harbour and to get a flavour of what emigration meant in the 1950’s.


‘We in our time have experienced the sense of crisis which occurs when something deemed unsinkable – in our case a speculative economy – is confounded not only by circumstance and error but by the hubris which accompanied belief in what proved to be an irrational version of the economic. In addition to those who are materially impacted by the crisis, it leads to a collective loss of confidence, a questioning of previously unchallenged assumptions and an erosion of trust in institutions. In the humbling aftermath of that crisis, there is not only an opportunity to learn but a requirement to reflect – to address the erroneous assumptions that led to failure, to mobilise support around an alternative vision for our Republic and to put ourselves on course for a future which is sustainable and embraces us all as equal citizens.’ ~Michael D. Higgins.

From Trinity Wall Street (some things never change in the love/hate relationship with wealth and the church):

The ship was bound for New York with a notable member of the Trinity community on board: John Jacob Astor IV, great-grandson of the famous millionaire John Jacob Astor.

Astor, a former Trinity vestryman, perished in the sinking of the Titanic. He second wife, 18 year old Madeleine Force Astor, then five months pregnant, escaped in a lifeboat.

The actions of the Astors as the Titanic sank were widely reported, and likely exaggerated, in the days following the tragedy. Accounts say that after the iceberg struck they sat on mechanical horses in the ship’s gymnasium, wearing life vests, and that only at the very last minute did Mrs. Astor and her maid get on a lifeboat. John Jacob Astor IV is said to have gallantly, chivalrously, heroically stepped aside and allowed women and children onto the lifeboat, though he wanted to accompany his wife. Mrs. Astor was “compelled to handle an oar” and bail freezing water out of the lifeboat as they rowed frantically away from the sinking ship, all of which she did with strength and courage,…

The most enduring story of the sinking is of the band who valiantly played to the end. What was the last song by the band? Read the story to find out.

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