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Irish Times Notes

Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be marked between 18 and 25 January.  This year’s resources were prepared by an ecumenical team from Burkina Faso, in West Africa, facilitated by the Chemin Neuf Community.

The chosen theme is ‘You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbour as yourself’ (Luke 10:27), and the main resource is a pamphlet with prayers and reflections, which is available as a download and also in print in four versions: English, Welsh and English, Irish, and Scots Gaelic. Resources can be ordered from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website.

Commending this annual occasion in the life of the Church, Bishop Michael Burrows says: “As Chair of the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue I again commend the resources being made available for the forthcoming Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This is an area in which, even during dark January days, our zeal and commitment must never diminish.  Indeed the Week should be a time when we re–energise ourselves for the kind of ecumenical commitment and witness that should characterise the whole year. We still have so far to travel, not only to organic unity, but to that long–desired point when truly we do together everything except what conscience absolutely requires us to do separately.

“Each year the observance of the Week of Prayer is enriched by our use of resources made internationally available, but gestated amidst the culture and the needs of a particular geographical location. Last year we focused on American material reflecting the shared quest for racial justice. In 2024 the material comes from Burkina Faso – still one of the least developed nations of the world, a country where Christians are a minority of the population, yet a place of rich culture and inspirational art. The Christians of that country will inform and inspire our shared thinking on love of God and love of neighbour, and we look forward to tasting what they will offer us in liturgy and prayer. May the 2024 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity prove a source of encouragement and hope in parishes the length and breadth of Ireland.”

On Thursday at 8pm the Archbishop of Dublin will attend the inaugural Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock, while next Sunday, 21st January, in St Muredach’s cathedral, Ballina, the Bishop  of Killala, the Most Revd John Fleming, will be joined by the Bishop of Tuam, Limerick & Killaloe, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows, at an ecumenical service at which the Rector in Ballina, Canon Alex Morahan, will preach.

The Armagh Cathedrals’ Partnership between St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral and St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral aims to strengthen the relationships which exist between the two cathedral families and to make the two iconic buildings symbols of mutual understanding, reconciliation and hope.  In a sign of good relations and the ecumenical collaboration that exists between the two Cathedrals the Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Shane Forster, and the Administrator of the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Very Revd Barry Matthews, will exchange pulpits to deliver the homily on Sundays 21 and 28 January respectively. 

Choral Compline, a short service of evening prayer, will be sung in Sandford parish church, Ranelagh, every Friday at 6pm until 22 March.  All are welcome to come to this beautiful meditative service, which provides a welcome respite from the busy Friday rush–hour.

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