Secular commemoration in Regent’s Park
I turned on the TV to see the Regent’s park commemoration of the 7/7 victims, expecting the usual irrelevant religious ceremony, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a secular occasion, created by the families and friends of those who’d died, where political leaders and royalty took second place to the bereaved.
So why did the BBC insist on referring to it as a ‘service’ in all their bulletins and reports? The Oxford Dictionary defines a ‘service’ in this context as ‘a ceremony of religious worship according to a prescribed form’, which this most definitely was not.
It was refreshing to see that the people involved had found a new, more honest way to mark the deaths of so many people with poetry and music, some written especially. What a pity they had to use an old term to describe it. It was a ceremony, or a commemoration, not a ‘service’. I emailed the BBC about this. It may seem pedantic, but this was one public occasion that religious leaders didn’t take over with the usual maudlin irrelevancies, and the BBC appeared at a loss to describe it.
If you’ve got broadband, you can watch the BBC News on 7 July.