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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Reflecting on Covid–19

The Liturgical Advisory Committee is encouraging parishes to make time in their services tomorrow (Sunday)  to reflect on the Covid–19 pandemic, pray for those whose lives continue to be impacted, and remember those whose lives were lost.  This date is suggested to coincide with the additional bank holiday on Friday, 18 March, which was announced by the Irish Government in January as a national commemoration of those who have lost their lives to Covid and to recognise frontline workers.

The LAC has prepared a Service for the Day of Remembrance and Recognition to enable parishes to mark this significant weekend, which will include a National Commemoration Event in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin tomorrow (Sunday).

The Archbishop of Dublin and Chair of the LAC, Dr Michael Jackson, in commending this resource said: ‘ Parishes might consider using this act of worship as part of their main Sunday service or as a separate service, inviting members of other Christian traditions and the wider community to attend.’

The Service is available to download at this link.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the Archbishop of Dublin will take part in the National Day of Remembrance and Reflection at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1 at 2.30pm.

The Church of Ireland has had a long and practical relationship with death. Following the Reformation, the Church of Ireland became the established or state church and under the penal laws only the established church could own graveyards. And so the graveyards of  Church of Ireland parishes were the last resting places of many Catholics and non–conformists.Nowhere, perhaps, is this more apparent than in St James’ graveyard in Dublin. where an estimated 100, 000 people were buried including a Catholic bishop, Conor O’Devany, Sir Toby Butler, Solicitor General for Ireland, Sir John Traill, the architect of Kilmainham Gaol, and the distiller James Power.

The graveyard was closed in 1955 and after the parish church closed in 1963 the maintenance of the graveyard became increasingly problematic. A major clean up managed by the archivist Tina Byrne, under the auspices of FAS in 1987, improved access for a time but thereafter the graveyard become increasing wild and overgrown. In 2010 the graveyard was transferred to Dublin City Council and in tandem with the development of the church building as the Pearse Lyons Distillery, work is on–going to restore the graveyard.

The story of St James’ graveyard is now available in A History of St James’s Church and Graveyard, Dublin from the 12th to 21st Centuries written by historian and genealogist, Sean J. Murphy, and published by Kilmainham Tales Teo (www.kilmainhamtales.ie). Carefully researched and well–illustrated this narrative history also includes useful appendices on local clergy, burials and memorials.

Four Church of Ireland cathedrals with Patrician associations – those in Armagh, Downpatrick, Dublin and Killala – are featured in the current issue of the Church of Ireland Gazette.  As well there is a feature on the Diocese of Meath & Kildare, news of the forthcoming Irish Churches Creation Care Conference in April, and on a Church Of Ireland Evangelical Fellowship event on 23 March at which the speaker will be the Bishop of Kensington, Dr Graham Tomlinson, and a report that the Bishop of Derry & Raphoe, the Rt Revd Andrew Forster is to be the next president of the Irish Council of Churches. The Gazette is published monthly. For information on subscriptions, click here.

The AGM of the Church Education Society will be held on Tuesday, 5 April 2022, at 3.30pm via Zoom.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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