On this Saturday, 28 November 2020, the vigil of the First Sunday of Advent, Bishop Larry Duffy will lead an online Service of Hope for the people of the Diocese of Clogher. The service will be accessible via www.clogherdiocese,ie and also via the Diocese of Clogher Facebook page and those of various parishes.
In his recent pastoral letter on living our faith through prayer and action, Bishop Duffy has highlighted the centrality of Christian hope in these challenging times. He sees Advent as being a special time for looking forward with hope. ‘This is a time to reflect on our needs and the coming of the light that Jesus brings to our world at Christmas’, he says. He is especially conscious of those for whom the period of restrictions is a particular burden in terms of mental health, financial pressures and grief. ‘People need hope. Advent is a time of hope. As Christians, it our duty to reach out and to show solidarity through prayers and actions.’
The Service of Hope will feature a reading from Scripture, some words of encouragement from Bishop Larry, prayers of intercession and music – all led by people of all ages from various parts of the diocese. One of the features will be some short reflections by people from different generations on how the period of Covid-19 has impacted on them.
The service is being planned and coordinated by the Diocesan Liturgy Commission. Its chairperson, Deacon Martin Donnelly, says that it is part of a series of resources which the diocese is putting in place this year: ‘With God in our hearts we have hope and confidence to face every challenge. This is the kernel of the mission of the Church in Clogher this Advent season. Walk with us in hope!’.
Other prayer resources for Advent and Christmas will be made available via the diocesan website www.clogherdiocese,ie and social media platforms over the coming weeks. Despite the changed circumstances of 2020, it is hoped that the period of Advent will allow us all to prepare for a greater focus on the true meaning of Christmas this year.