Saturday, 31 October 2015

Casting out darkness and
fear this Hallowe’en

Blue skies and blue seas at Bray this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

Despite the dullness of the weather yesterday afternoon, the bright sunny weather returned today [31 October 2015], and with the bright blue skies and temperatures that pushed to 16 above, this day was more like the ‘Indian Summer’ we enjoyed recently than the day before November.

Despite the gloomy, dark ideas that can dominate Hallowe’en, this was like a Spring day, and I had no need for a coat and scarf or a hat when I went for a walk along the Promenade in Bray, Co Wicklow, this afternoon, and stepped down on the shoreline for a walk along the pebbles and the seashore.

There were clear views out to the Irish Sea, north beyond Dalkey Island and south beyond Bray Head.

Although there was no-one out sailing, about four or five people had braved the waters for a swim, and the ice cream parlours were doing good business.

Two of us had a late lunch, including a glass of wine and double espressos, in Carpe Diem, which was decorated for a Hallowe’en party later this evening, before returning for another walk under the blue skies by the beach.

Pebbles and rocks by the seafront in Bray this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Later this evening, I am going to a special All Saints’ Eve service in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, with the theme “What are you afraid of?”

We sometimes throw this question around as a challenge, a dare, and yet many of us face very real fears in our daily lives: fear of the future, of hurt, of betrayal, of death. How do we handle these fears? What can we do with them?

This Hallowe’en night, all are invited to bring those fears and hold them up to see them in a different light. This alternative-style Eucharist will include an open prayer time for people present to engage with interactive prayer installations relating to our day-to-day fears.

Prayer ministry will also be available for those who would like someone to pray with them about a need.

As the invitation says, “Perfect love casts out all fear” (I John 4: 18).

The Revd Jack Kinkead, Priest-in-Charge of Wicklow and Killiskey, is the preacher. This service is an opportunity to experience something different than a typical Hallowe’en and to pray for the health and well-being of the city and country on a night that when there is often a focus on darkness and fear.

Christ Church Cathedral is open for prayer from 9 p.m. this evening, the All Saints’ Eucharist is being celebrated at 9.30 p.m., and tea and coffee are being served in the Cathedral Crypt afterwards.

‘What are you afraid of’ ... the invitation to this evening’s All Saints’ Eve service in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

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