Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing–Service to Celebrate the Life & Witness of CS Lewis

cslewisfestivalOver the past week Belfast has marked the 50th anniversary of the death of native son CS Lewis with a wide-ranging festival. Sunday evening one of those activities was a service to celebrate the life and witness of CS Lewis, held in Lewis’ childhood parish church of St Mark’s, Dundela, in East Belfast.

Fr Martin Magill took in the event for his weekly ecumenical tithing, as he describes below. For Belfast, I think one of the most poignant readings on the night came from The Weight of Glory:

“your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your sight…”

“He’s the king I tell you” – A service to Celebrate the life and witness of CS Lewis in St Mark’s Church, Dundela and the Feast of Christ the King.

After the arrival of The Lord Lieutenant, Dame Mary Peters, there was the singing of “God Save the Queen”.

The Rector Rev Adrian Dorrian then began the service with words from CS Lewis and we sang “Lord for the years”.  After words of introduction and welcome Adrian put the service into context – Lewis was baptised in St Mark’s and remained in contact with the parish.

The Curate Assistant Rev Lynne Gibson read the first reading from Perelandra written by C S Lewis – a reflection on the Incarnation.  Following this we sang: “Your kingdom come”.  The second reading was read by Lynn Wilson, a member of the select vestry and came from The Silver Chair.  We then sang “The King of love” after which Peter Quigley read a passage from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The next hymn was “in the name of Jesus.” Then Richard Ryan from the Good Book Shop read from the collected letters of CS Lewis vol II after which the choir sang Ps 84.  The fifth reading was read by Rev Ivan Betts, Hon Assistant Priest and it came from the Lion, the witch and the wardrobe.  This was followed by an anthem; “From darkness to light” from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  The prayers followed at the end of which we prayed the “Lord’s Prayer”.

Robert Robinson, the principal of Campbell College then read the sixth reading from The Horse and the Boy which was followed by the singing of “Thy hand O God has guided…”.  Alderman Gavin Robinson representing the First Minister then read the seventh reading from The Weight of Glory and we then sang: “Put thou thy trust in God”.

Dame Mary Peters read the eighth reading also from The Weight of Glory which included the line: 

“your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your sight…”

We then sang “Brother, sister let me serve you”.

The ninth and final reading was read by the rector and it came from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which finished with the words:

“He’s the King I tell you”.

The recessional hymn was “Christ triumphant, ever reigning”.

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