31 July 2020
One of the resources I continue to draw on for my personal prayers is Service of the Heart, a Jewish prayer book I first acquired back in 1974, when I was living in Wexford.
This Service of the Heart was published in London over half a century ago by the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues in 1967. Two of the principal contributors to this book were Rabbi John Rayner and Rabbi Chaim Stern, who wrote or rewrote many of the prayers.
My prayer this evening seems appropriate as I prepare for next week’s 75th anniversary commemorations of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In another part of this book, Rabbis Chaim Stein says ‘Auschwitz and Hiroshima are among the dread and tragic symbols of this age.’
This prayer, however, comes from The Language of Faith, edited by Nahum N Glatzer, and it came in turn from Likkutey Tefillot, a collection of personal prayers ascribed to Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav (1772-1811):
May it be Your will that war and bloodshed shall vanish from the earth, and that a great and glorious peace may reign in all the world. Let all who dwell on earth perceive and understand the basic truth, that we have not come into this world for strife and discord, hatred and envy, greed and bloodshed, but that we have come into this world only to know You and understand You, who are to be praised for ever.
Let Your glory fill our minds and our hearts. Teach us so to use our skills and understanding that through us Your presence may come to dwell on earth, and that Your power and the splendour of Your kingdom may be known to all mankind, Amen.
Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes
Rathkeale, Askeaton, Castletown and Kilnaughtin
Priest-in-Charge: Revd Canon Patrick Comerford,
The Rectory, Askeaton, Co Limerick.
Parish Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RathkealeGroup/
Back to the Future:
Hopefully the ‘new normal’ does not become the ‘normal normal.’ But Sunday services have resumed, the churches have been measured out and marked up, the prayer books and hymnals have been replaced by laminated cards, the readings and the hymns have been reduced in number … why, even the sermons are shorter too.
Special thanks are due to all who measured the distances, cleaned and tidied the churches, to Niall West who laminated the service cards, and to all who looked after the church grounds and churchyards.
At the rectory, parishioners have been busy looking after the garden, or calling round with flowers, vegetables and newspapers. In recent weeks, the rectory has at times seemed like a ‘virtual venue’ with video conferences and webinars involving diocesan clergy, the cathedral chapter, school boards, history seminars and USPG trustees.
Some things are not going to return to ‘normal’, however. Parishioners have been saying their farewells to Colonel Edward Buckingham, who is moving to England. He gave many years of outstanding service to the parish and the diocese, as a Reader, Vestry member and Synod member, and will be greatly missed in the parish and the community.
August has five Sundays. A United Group service takes place in Castletown Church at 11 a.m. on Sunday 30 August, with Siobhán Wheeler, our new parish reader, leading worship and preaching. Please extend a warm welcome to her as she begins this new ministry.
The dates have now been reset for this year’s Easter Vestries, so these are important dates for our diaries:
● Kilnaughtin (Tarbert): Easter Vestry, with elections, after church on Sunday 16 August.
● Castletown and Askeaton: Easter Vestries meet together, 4 August, at 8 p.m. in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton.
● Rathkeale: Easter Vestry, 7 p.m., 11 August, in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.
Births and Babies:
The extended parish family has recently celebrated the birth of two babies:
● Matilda Dorothy Caroline Langford, born on 4 May 2020, is the daughter of William and Karen Langford, and a sister for Chloe Dorothy.
● Verity Rebecca Shorten is the daughter of Amy and Damien Shorten, a granddaughter for Jennifer and Niall Shorten and a great-granddaughter for Ruby Shorten.
Prayers and memories:
Please continue to pray for those who have been sick at home or in hospital in recent months, including Alan, Ajay, Basil, Charles, James, Linda, Lorraine, Margaret, Maria, Simon and Terry. We give thanks for Linda’s successful operation – seeing her back in church is a joyful thanks for prayers answered.
In recent weeks, the intercessions have included prayers for those who are grieving, including Michelle, Ian, and the Shorten and O’Riordan families, the Doherty and Maloney families, and the Barrett family.
Following the death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan, a message of sympathy on behalf of the Group of Parishes was delivered to Askeaton Garda Station.
This is an edited version of the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group parish notes in the August 2020 edition of ‘Newslink,’ the Limerick and Killaloe diocesan magazine (pp 21-22)