Sunday, 31 January 2016

‘For those who walk in darkness
and in the shadow of death’

Walking on the beach in Loughshinny this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Patrick Comerford

We celebrated Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation a little early this evening with the Candlemas Procession in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

Earlier in the day, I had presided at the Cathedral Eucharist, and at the Candlemas Procession this evening I led the intercessions:

In peace let us pray to the Lord.

By the mystery of the Word made flesh
Good Lord, deliver us.

By the birth in time of the timeless Son of God
Good Lord, deliver us.

By the baptism of the Son of God in the river Jordan
Good Lord, deliver us.

For the kingdoms of this world,
that they may become the Kingdom of our Lord and Christ
We pray to you, O Lord.

For your holy, catholic and apostolic Church,
that it may be one
We pray to you, O Lord.

For the witness of your faithful people,
that they may be lights in the world
We pray to you, O Lord.

For the poor, the persecuted, the sick and all who suffer;
that they may be relieved and protected
We pray to you, O Lord.

For the aged, for refugees and all in danger,
that they may be strengthened and defended
We pray to you, O Lord.

For those who walk in darkness and in the shadow of death,
that they may come to your eternal light
We pray to you, O Lord.

Father, source of light and life,
Grant the prayers of your faithful people,
and fill the world with your glory, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Between these two celebrations, two of us went for a short walk on the beach in Skerries and for lunch in the Olive, accompanied by the best double espressos served in Fingal.

Later in the afternoon, we went for a walk on the tiny, secluded horseshoe-shaped beach in Loughshinny, halfway between Skerries and Rush.

Watching the tide flow into the bay at Loughshinny in the dimming lights of the evening, and as I prayed this evening “for refugees and all in danger” and “those who walk in darkness and in the shadow of death,” it was impossible not to think about and pray for those who are caught in the waters of the Aegean Sea between the coast of Turkey and islands of Greece, or the refugees from Syria who became the victims of racism and Islamophobia when they reach other countries in northern Europe.

Good Lord, deliver us …

We pray to you, O Lord …

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