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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Liturgy for Northern Ireland Parliament Centenary

Exhibiting an admirable economy of language, the first sentence of a letter in last Monday’s Irish Times began ‘The centenary of Northern Ireland is contested’. Indeed it is but so too is much of what happened in Ireland in the early 1920s. As civil society struggles to find ways to responsibly interpret this part of our past for a new generation, the churches, too, should be part of this process. They, more than any other part of society, have long experience of providing structures for celebration, consolation, desolation and death. Liturgy has, so often, been the superstructure upon which society has depended to provide dignity is times of both joy and despair.

The Liturgical Advisory Committee of the Church of Ireland has published a resource for use in parishes marking the Centenary of the Opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament, which will take place on 22 June 2021.  The resource includes an introduction setting the historical context, written by the Revd Dr Stanley Gamble, Rector of Killinchy in the Diocese of Down; a Service of the Word to mark the Centenary of the Opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament; a wide selection of suggested Scripture readings; and a range of prayers in contemporary and traditional language.

While the resource has been compiled with particular reference to the Northern Ireland Centenary, it is also intended that the structure and much of the content of this Service can be used in the future to help congregations and individuals pray for those in authority and government.

Speaking about the Service on behalf of the LAC, the Revd Adrian Dorrian said: “Throughout the Decade of Centenaries, the LAC has been working in parallel with the Church of Ireland’s Centenaries Working Group to provide worship leaders and parishes with resources to help mark and commemorate some of the most significant dates in our shared history.  We hope that this Service of the Word will be useful to those preparing to mark the Centenary of the Opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament in a liturgical setting. 

“Prayers for those in authority have always been at the heart of our worship; of course they are built in to the Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer.  Many of the resources in this service are not specific to this particular centenary, and we believe that they will remain useful to the Church as we continue to hold those in authority before God in the years to come.”

The resource can be accessed on the Church of Ireland website here.

Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be a Service at 2.15pm on the RTÉ News Channel led by the Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne, in St Fin Barre’s cathedral.

On Tuesday in St Mary’s cathedral, Limerick, the first in a new series of free online lunchtime talks on the theme of ‘2021 Anniversaries’ will begin at 1.15pm when Dr Brian Murphy OSB from Glenstal Abbey will speak about ‘Winnie Barrington, innocent victim of war’.  

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement during the time between Ascension Day, which is next Thursday, and Pentecost which falls on 23 May. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer, with participation spanning across 172 countries. Visit the website (www.thykingdomcome.global) for resources and inspiring stories of prayer or you can download a prayer journal with short prompts and suggestions for each day.

 

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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