Singers and musicians in churches on the island of Ireland are being invited to take part in a unique singing, musical and blessing experience in recognition of the dedicated service of all involved in providing essential services during these challenging times.
At a local level, participants are asked to select a facility which provides an essential service and to dedicate their rendition of the specially adapted hymn: “Be Thou my Vision,” to that facility.
Submitted recordings will be considered for inclusion in an all–island, collaborative version of the hymn. This final collaborative video will be directed and edited by a renowned team, including Greg Fromholz, Stu Reid and Jonny Rea, and will be released on our the Irish Blessing’s YouTube Channel, on Pentecost Sunday, 31st May at 11am.
Irish Council of Churches President and co–chair of the Irish Inter–Church Committee Rev Dr Ivan Patterson, supporting the initiative, said: I encourage all churches to get involved with the Irish Blessing (theirishblessing.com). It’s a wonderful and creative way to bless both a community organisation local to your own church at the same time as sharing together with Christians from all over the island in blessing and thanking those who daily dedicate themselves to the wellbeing of all.The choice of an adaptation of *Be Thou my Vision* is particularly apt in its call out to God to be our shelter in a time of affliction, when so many are suffering as a result of coronavirus. Still God is our refuge, and He is always with us.
Project joint–co–ordinator, Fr. Martin Magill, Parish Priest, St. John the Evangelist, Belfast said: The words of the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’ can be traced back to fifth to ninth century Christian Ireland, to a tradition of a prayer for protection known as, ‘lorica,’ (Latin for armour or breastplate.) The references in the prayer to armour and sword are thought to be inspired by some of the imagery in St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, 6:16–17, such as ‘shield of faith,’ ‘helmet of salvation,’ and ‘the sword of the Spirit.’ Praying for protection and blessing is particularly apt during these times.
Fellow organiser, Philip McKinley, Dublin–based Church of Ireland Ordinand said: God blesses us abundantly and is present with us, even in very difficult times. This hymn invites us to lift our eyes, to shift our vision far beyond ourselves, to Him. Ireland is famous for its blessing; words to encourage friends, family and neighbours along the journey. We want to bless those on the frontlines with words of hope and life and relationship with the Creator of all things. This is an exciting, collaborative, video–project, designed to bless our community and encourage people to lift their vision to the Lord. In the words of the hymn we want to draw people into a greater awareness of, ‘thy presence, my light,’ in these dark and challenging times.
If you are interested in participating in this exciting project, please subscribe on the Irish Blessing website: https://theirishblessing.com/the-irish-blessing/sign-up/. Once signed–up you will be notified on Saturday 16th May to download the Recording Guide Resources from https://theirishblessing.com. These will contain all the information needed to record and submit your contribution.
THE DEADLINE FOR RECORDED SUBMISSIONS IS 12 NOON ON FRIDAY 22ND MAY.