11 September 2016

A Sunday at famine commemorations
in Glasnevin and ordinations in Belfast

The National Famine Commemoration takes place in Glasnevin Cemetery this morning (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

It looks like being a busy Sunday today [11 September 2016].

I have been invited to represent the Church of Ireland at the National Famine Commemoration, which takes place at 11 a.m. in Glasnevin Cemetery. The attendance includes President Michael D Higgins.

I have been asked to write one of the prayers for this commemoration, and hope to use this prayer this morning:

In the Beatitudes, we are reminded: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled’ (Matthew 5: 6, NRSV) or ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice.’

This morning, as we remember those who were driven from this land in their hunger, in their thirst, and in their quest for justice and mercy, and how they left on the high seas, let us pray for those who are driven from their own lands as they hungered and thirsted for justice and mercy.

Let us pray in particular for the people of Syria, for those who are on the high seas in the Aegean and the Mediterranean, and those who flee places where climate change and our inaction deprives them of justice and forces them to choose between, on the one hand, hunger and thirst at home, and short measures of justice and mercy in the countries they reach.

May God hear our prayers in our words this morning, and may those who seek justice and mercy see the response to those prayers in our action.

Lord God, we ask you to open our eyes and ears to those who seek justice and mercy, to open our mouths to speak out on their behalf, and to open our hands in generosity and in meaningful action.

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Later today, I hope to be in Belfast for the service of Ordination of Deacons in Saint Anne’s Cathedral at 3.30 p.m. The Revd Danielle McCullagh will be ordained to serve an internship in Saint Brigid’s, Mallusk, and the Revd Dr Christopher St John will be ordained to serve an internship in the parish of Holy Trinity, Woodburn, Carrickfergus.

Perhaps on the way back to Dublin later this evening I shall stop to take a break in the old walled town of Carlingford, Co Louth, and to go for a walk along the harbour.

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