Rogation is a church tradition that has pre-Christian roots, dating back to a Roman agricultural procession honouring a deity invoked to protect the crops from mildew. Nowadays on three days before Ascension Day (Thursday, May 26th this year), the church offers prayers for God’s blessing on the fruits of the earth and on human labour. To mark Rogation Sunday this Sunday, May 22nd, sunflower seeds will be offered to anyone in the congregation who wishes to take them. You are encouraged to plant these and nurture them at home over the coming weeks. On Sunday, September 4th, at our outdoor service and barbecue, a prize will be presented for the tallest one. The sunflower or “soniashnyk” is Ukraine’s national flower so as your sunflower grows it will also be a reminder of the current plight of Ukrainian people and a symbol of our hope that sunnier days are coming for them again.
The United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough have launched U&Ukraine, an initiative to help Ukrainian people arriving in Ireland to feel welcome. The Church of St George and St Thomas on Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin city centre is to be made available for use as a hub and cultural centre and the dioceses will work with Ukrainian leaders in the community to identify practical ways to help the arriving refugees. The kitchen and restroom facilities at the church need to be upgraded, so parishes are being asked for donations to support this preparatory work, as well as to fund ongoing support once the hub opens. Contributions can be made through option 6 in St Paul’s online payments system here. Your generosity will be an enormous help to these displaced people arriving in Ireland with no personal resources. In the slightly longer term, the intention is to sponsor a priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition, to provide pastoral and liturgical ministry to the refugees.
In the evenings of Holy Week the five Church of Ireland parishes in this area worship together at 8 pm. The speaker on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights is The Very Rev. Maria Jansson recently retired Dean of Waterford. and the venues are as follows: Monday, April 11th 8 pm St Matthias, Ballybrack Tuesday 12th 8 pm St Paul’s Glenageary Wednesday 13th 8 pm St Patrick’s Dalkey Thursday 14th 8 pm Christ Church Dun Laoghaire Good Friday 15th 12 noon One hour at the Cross in St Paul’s 8 pm Holy Trinity Killiney
Holy Week 2022 begins on Sunday, April 10th Palm Sunday with services at 8.15 am Holy Communion; 10.30 am The Liturgy of Palm Sunday; 7pm A Service of the Word. Palm crosses will be distributed at all services. There will be daily early Holy Communion services in St Paul’s at 7.15 am and in the evenings the five Church of Ireland parishes in this area will worship together at 8 pm. The speaker on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be The Very Rev. Maria Jansson recently retired Dean of Waterford. Here is full line-up, with services in St Paul’s unless otherwise stated: Monday, April 11th 7.15 am Holy Communion 8 pm St Matthias, Ballybrack Tuesday 12th 7.15 am Holy Communion 8 pm St Paul’s Glenageary Wednesday 13th 7.15 am Holy Communion 11 am Holy Communion 8 pm St Patrick’s Dalkey Thursday 14th 7.15 am Holy Communion 8 pm Christ Church Dun Laoghaire Good Friday 15th 12 noon One hour at the Cross8 pm Holy Trinity Killiney EASTER DAY, April 17th 8.15 am Holy Communion 10.30 am Parish Communion followed by an Easter egg hunt in the church grounds 7 pm NO SERVICE
It was decided that it is still too soon to host a coffee morning and raffle in the parish centre in support of the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day this Friday, March 25th. This vital fundraiser has again moved online. Your contribution can be attributed to St Paul’s through the link here. This link will be sent again to those on the mailing list next Friday morning. If you prefer, donations can be brought to church or dropped into the Rectory (1 Silchester Road). You will find an online shop on the Irish Cancer Society website here, where you can buy merchandise that would normally be available at our coffee morning.
Contributions to the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for Ukrainian refugees can now be paid through option 5 on the parish online payment system here Alternatively, if you would like to make a donation using cash or cheque, please put it in a marked envelope and leave it in a collection basket at the back of the church, or drop it into the Rectory. The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has already committed €10,000 from its emergency funds to assist with the humanitarian response to the current crisis in Ukraine. Bishops’ Appeal is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Christian Aid, and now encourages parishes across the island to contribute to this response to help people seeking refuge. More information here.
There will be a short service of Holy Communion at 7.15 am this Ash Wednesday, March 2nd, and each Wednesday in Lent. This is in addition to the regular midweek Wednesday communion service at 11 am. These Wednesday services, along with the 7 pm service on Sunday evening, will now return to the chancel. Twenty chairs will be available there at one metre apart. This is usually sufficient to accommodate the numbers who attend those services. If you arrive with someone from the same household please feel free to pull the chairs closer together! At all communion services the rector will continue to bring communion to you in both kinds as has been his recent practice. If you feel nervous or uncomfortable about sitting in the more confined area of the chancel please feel free to sit anywhere in the body of the church. Meanwhile, we ask that you continue to wear a mask while you are in the church building.
Our “Kidszone” has been reinstated at the back of the church, including the tables, chairs, books, and toys that had been there prior to March 2020. Each week there will be a variety of colouring sheets available that reflect the theme in the gospel reading of the day. There will also be an activity sheet for older children. If parents feel comfortable about bringing their children back to church they will be very welcome.
The updated advice from the Department of the Taoiseach, forwarded to clergy by the Archbishop’s Office, suggests “that it may be helpful for each Place of Worship/Community to implement a risk assessment to ascertain what they are comfortable with and what best suits their congregation as a result of the lifting of restrictions. Continuation of some protective measures may be preferred, for an interim period, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the vulnerable or anxious members of the congregation”.
With the above in mind the following will apply at St Paul’s until further notice:
Please continue to wear a mask while inside the church building and use the hand sanitisers provided.
If you are wearing your mask properly i.e., it covers your nose and mouth, you may sing
Social distancing and the one-way entry/exit system are no longer in operation. You are free to sit where you like and exit the building as you choose.
The prayer books and hymn books will be reintroduced for use whenever possible to reduce unnecessary printing of single use service sheets.
Parish Communion will be reintroduced at 10.30 am on the fourth Sunday of each month.
At all communion services you are asked to remain in your pew and the bread and wine will be brought to you as has been recent practice.
Please always exercise caution and remain conscious of those around you to ensure that worship remains a safe environment for everyone, particularly those who may be vulnerable or feel anxious.
Coffee/tea after the 10.30 am Sunday service will continue outside, weather permitting. Gary Dowd
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