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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Spring Issue of Search

The spring issue of the Church of Ireland journal, Search, edited by Canon Ginnie Kennerley, should reach contributors next week.

The first three articles in this issue reflect the continuing effects of the pandemic on current and future developments, styles and possibilities.  Two clergy of Dublin diocese, the Revd Stephen Farrell. Rector of Zion, and the Revd Christopher West, Curate of Taney, consider how regular parish worship has adjusted and may continue to change while Soline Humbert, a member of ‘We are Church Ireland’, looks at a radical online experiment in eucharistic worship. 

But the pandemic overshadows more than worship and extends world–wide. From the USA, Richard K Fenn, Emeritus Professor of Christianity and Society at Princeton Theological Seminary, reflects on its malign effect on public life there, exposing the pernicious inter–racial fault–line in the American psyche.  And from the UK Paul Ballard, Emeritus Professor of Theology at Cardiff, offers observations on the relation of faith to work in our troubled society today.

Existential anxiety has become a feature of our everyday lives. Will we and our loved ones still be here this time next week? And if not, where will we be? Some are more confident than others about a future existence and its conditions. In this context the Revd Andrew Campbell, Rector of Skerry in the Diocese of Connor, comes out strongly against nihilist objections that Heaven, if it exists, can only boring while TCD postgraduate, Katie Brown, looks extensively at what the Bible (rather than the Church) has to say about the ultimate destiny of those who commit suicide or embrace death to save others.

Looking to the future, this issue concludes with two articles which connect with the thinking behind the subject of the Search Colloquium, “Who is my Neighbour?” to be conducted on line on 17 April.  This lies in the WCC document “Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity” with its call to an extension of pandemic neighbourliness to the outsider – those of all faiths,  races and cultures both giving and receiving. The first, by the Dean of Cloyne, the Very Revd Paul Draper, challenges us to eschew all “othering” and to embrace all those in  need; the second by the Rt Revd Kenneth Kearon, Bishop of Limerick & Killaloe, reflects on how ‘first world’ gifts are used in the receiving communities, whose priorities may be more immediate than those of the donors.

A lively Liturgica from biblical scholar, Dr Margaret Daly–Denton, and a varied. crop of book reviews conclude the issue. 

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 2.15pm on the RTE News Channel will broadcast a Sung Eucharist and Litany for the First Sunday in Lent from St Fin Barre’s cathedral where the celebrant will be the Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne, and the cantor will be the Dean’s Vicar, the Revd Ted Ardis. The service will be sung by the Lay Vicars Choral (socially distanced) directed by Peter Stobart, Director of  Music, who will also play the voluntary. The setting of the Litany is by Henry Loosemore (1627–1670) and the setting of the Eucharist is Palestrina’s Missa Brevis.

The ability of St Fin Barre’s to provide good quality liturgy and music  has been made possible by a generous grant from the RCB to install permanent livestream equipment. The cathedral has also provided a separate sound feed for the choir, and hopes, that when funding becomes available, to install a second camera to improve the quality of camera shots that are currently ‘long distance’ zoomed ones.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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