Saturday, 29 January 2011

Evening of Prayer for Christian Unity in Nenagh

Gathering to pray for Christian Unity

Nenagh Catholics hosted Christians from the Church of Ireland and other traditions at an evening of prayer for Christian unity in St Mary’s of the Rosary on Sunday 23rd January. The prayers were provided by Christians in Jerusalem, who chose the challenging theme ‘All things in common’. The organ was played by Roisín Ryan, and Antoinette Cleary led the singing.

Gathering. Fr Pat Malone PP welcomed the congregation, who joined in singing the Pilgrim Song, ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you’, as readers and representatives came forward to place candles, a Bible and a plain wooden cross on an altar table. Fr Pat then led prayers of intercession for Jerusalem and the world, during which incense was offered symbolising prayer rising to God.

Liturgy of the Word. We listened attentively to God’s word. Rae Croft read from Isaiah. We sang Psalm 96 in a Scottish metrical version to the tune of ‘Amazing Grace’. Mary O’Donnell read from Acts. Audrey Gordon read from Matthew’s Gospel. In a short address, Joc Sanders asked what our response would be to the challenge from Jerusalem: would we leave separately with just warm feelings, or would we leave together determined to act to bring closer a unity of love and purpose?

Response. John Cullen led prayers of penitence and declared the Peace, which all shared with handshakes. After singing ‘Christ be with me’, we joined in saying the Apostles’ Creed. Fr Pat introduced the prayer for Christian Unity, during which representatives from the different traditions came forward two by two to light a candle and offer petitions, to which we responded with the words, ‘May everything become new and make visible our unity’. Then we joined together in the Lord’s Prayer.

Sending out. Sr Patricia Greene led a closing prayer and Fr Pat gave a final blessing. Jane Coman read from Revelation, and before leaving we sang a closing hymn, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you’.

Afterwards many of us shared light refreshments kindly laid on by ladies of the Catholic parish in the Pastoral Centre. It was generally agreed that the evening of prayer had been moving and well worth while, both a challenge to our separation and a lovely opportunity to come together – definitely something to be repeated.

Briefing participants beforehand

Enjoying refreshments in the Pastoral Centre


Philip McKinley said...

This is fantastic Joc, keep up the great work.

Joc Sanders said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Philip. God bless. Joc