Time of reflection on the pandemic – Memorial services take place in Dublin & Glendalough
Parishes throughout Dublin & Glendalough held services and acts of remembrance over the weekend to reflect on the Covid–19 pandemic, pray for those whose lives continue to be impacted and remember those whose lives were lost. The services coincided with the extra bank holiday announced by the government and the National Commemoration Event in the Garden of Remembrance in Islandbridge on Sunday (March 20) which was attended by Archbishop Michael Jackson.
The Archbishop was the celebrant at a special Memorial Service for those who died during the pandemic which took place in Christ Church, Taney, on Friday evening (March 18). The service included an act of remembrance and the congregation was urged to remember those they had loved who had died. A candle was lit and the Rector, the Revd Nigel Pierpoint, said: “This light in its brightness is only a symbol but as it burns and finally is extinguished, we remembering that suffering passes though memory remains forever”. He hoped that those who had lost loved ones would find some comfort in the service.
In his sermon, the Rector noted that it was just over two years since the nation went into the first lockdown – people were told to work from home, schools and colleges closed, travel was restricted to exercise within two kilometres of home and all social and sporting gatherings were cancelled. Even churches had to close for public worship with numbers attending funerals restricted.
“The one thing that we do well in Ireland is a funeral,” he commented. “At a time when the support of family and friends was needed most it was stolen from us, leaving grieving family members with a sense of loneliness and isolation to process and deal with the death of a loved one. Covid–19 made grief even more incomprehensible and inexplicable. We stand with those who have been bereaved during the pandemic when loss has been underlined by the removal of the natural and instinctive human response of touch, of a hug and even a simple handshake. Not only were numbers limited, but there was no singing, no old familiar hymns that we know and love.”
He added that memorial services were important to ensure that people’s grief was no longer lonely or isolating.
The service included prayers for all who were impacted by the pandemic and remembered all who were confined to their homes and separated from loved ones. Prayers were also said for those who continued to be anxious about the future and all who continued to suffer as a result of the pandemic. Those who took risks – medical staff, hospital workers, frontline workers and educators were remembered for their dedication and commitment.