Corona Virus Outbreak
Prayerful thoughts and comforting words and Parish information at a time of National Crisis.
‘The Lord is my Shepherd’
I would like to thank you very much indeed for the kind and generous comments regarding the prayers and readings I sent out to you following the outbreak of the Corona Virus. I thought you might like to receive some more suggested readings and prayers which I hope will be of comfort to you during the challenging time we are all experiencing. However, first may I just wish you all a very happy and holy Easter. I hope it was a nice time for you given the social restrictions we were all asked to observe. I would also like to update you on what has been happening in the Parish in recent weeks.
As everyone will know, the holding of public church services is not permitted at the moment, and in the Parish we were fortunate to have been able to live stream a church service every Sunday morning. During Holy Week we were able to live stream a Prayer Service each evening. I am greatly indebted to Lorraine Hales who has so generously made her experience and expertise of technology available to the Parish, so that everyone can enjoy watching these church services. Lorraine has been ably assisted by her husband John and I know I would be speaking for everyone when I offer them our sincere thanks and appreciation. The numbers watching the Services have been quite remarkable. Last Sunday, Easter Day, well over 1200 people watched the Service from All Saints’ and during the evenings of Holy Week over 500 people watched each evening. On Good Friday evening that number rose to over 700. The church services will continue to be live streamed every Sunday at 12.00 noon and everyone has very easy access by simply going to the Parish website or Facebook – www.Mullingar Union of Parishes.net – and follow the very straightforward instructions Lorraine has provided.
We have now put up a Community Noticeboard for messages. Parishioners might like to share a comment or idea and again the procedure is very straightforward either by WhatsApp or text 0892497078 or by e mail to info.@mullingarunionof parishes.net. You are invited to send a message to either the Mullingar Union of Parishes website or Facebook and it will then be posted on Community Noticeboard.
Wednesdays – Bible Reflections
Starting on Wednesday 22nd April, at 8.00 p.m., I will be giving a live streaming Bible reflection. If you would like to join me just go to the website and Facebook every Wednesday evening at 8p.m.and the instructions will be very clear.
Lighten Our Darkness Project
Every evening at 7.00 p.m. the young people light a candle and offer prayers in their own homes. You are very welcome to join them by also praying in your own home every evening at 7.00 p.m. The words of the prayers can be found on the Parish website.
Let’s Keep Talking
At this time we are encouraging everyone to keep in touch by telephone and I am trying to contact as many people as I can. You, too, might like to join us by ringing people in Parish that you know. The young people involved in Lighten Our Darkness Project telephoned a number of people over the Easter weekend and will continue to do so.
Recently there have been four bereavements in the Parish and we offer each of the families our deepest sympathy.
Billy Walshe of Anneville passed away peacefully and we offer our sympathy to George his son and Avril his daughter, Charlie and Mervyn, his grandchildren Sophie, Steven, Benjamin and Rebecca, and everyone else in the family circle and all friends.
Ivor Fogg of Lynn Avenue passed away peacefully and we offer to our sympathy to Janet his daughter and Gerald his son and Ivor’s wider family and many friends.
Douglas Matthews of Ballinea passed away peacefully and we offer our deepest sympathy to his daughters Olwen and Lorna, Martin and his grandchildren Carolyn, Leah, Joshua, Alison, Vicky, Muriel Ray and Ilona and his wider family and circle of friends.
Frank Small of Newcastle passed away peacefully and we offer our deepest sympathy to Mary his wife, Mark and Vicky his son and daughter, Billy his brother, Marie his sister, his grandchildren and wider family and circle of friends.
Keeping in Touch
We will be updating both the Parish website and Facebook regularly with all the news in the Parish. Please do go on the website, or ask a family member to do it for you, so that you can keep abreast of all that is happening. I will always be very pleased to hear from you in the Rectory and my mobile telephone number is 087-787 0985.
Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Prayers
Psalm 40, verses 1-5, 16 and 17
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods
5 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us. None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” 17 But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.
Psalm 42, verses 1-5
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Acts 5, verses 12-16
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
Romans 8, verses 35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Colossians 3, verses 1-4
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Prayers – Let us Pray
Almighty God, whose son our Lord Jesus Christ was made perfect by the things that He suffered: have compassion on those who are passing through illness and pain. Uphold their faith that they may trust and not be afraid and give them the comfort and strength of your presence for your tender mercies sake.
We remember in mercy, Our Father, those who have succumbed to the Corona virus and those who have thankfully recovered and their families and friends and those who have sadly passed away. We ask you to bless all that is being done for their good by doctors, nurses, ambulance paramedics, medical staff, carers and pharmacists. We pray that you will surround everyone with your healing love and power. We make this our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.
Most merciful Father, we commend to your care and protection those whose work is dangerous, and especially those who risk their lives for the lives of others. We thank you for their courage and their devotion to duty; and we pray that in every hour of need they may know that you are with them and may fear no evil.
We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lighten our darkness, O Lord , we pray and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers at this time for the love of your only son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Living Lord, conqueror of death, we remember with gladness how on the day of your resurrection you appeared to your disciples in your risen power and said to them ‘Peace be with you’. Speak that word to our hearts today, O Lord. Lift us above all our doubts and fears; and help us to practice your presence and to rest upon your victory that your peace may be with us, now and for ever more.
Living God, Speak to each one in your still small voice, And grant them your peace which passes understanding, that quiet confidence that only you can bring, And so may their burdens be lifted, And their souls refreshed. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In time of National anxiety
O God our refuge and strength in every hour of need, raise up among us at this time faithful and fearless people who know that through loyalty to your word and will alone can a nation find true peace and security.
To such and to all in authority give a right judgment and the courage to follow your way for the good of all people and for the honour of your name.
The Lord’s Prayer
May the Almighty and merciful Lord, grant us all peace and preserve each of us this day and forever more.
With God’s blessings,
Rev. Alastair Graham. Rector