A prayer vigil is being organized by local clergy in North Belfast on Tuesday 10th December at 6pm in the Hopelink Centre at Carlisle Circus.
This initiative is to bring together people from all churches and communities to celebrate their diversity, to pray for the peace of the city and for reconciliation.
It grows out of longstanding partnerships among clergy in North Belfast. All people from the local community as well as further afield are welcome to join in.
The prayer vigil will be led with reflections, short readings and will be followed by a carol service at Carlisle Circus, organized by the 174 Trust’s cross- community choir.
The clergy believe that this is an important gathering, given recent tensions in the area. Fr Martin Magill, parish priest at Sacred Heart in North Belfast, said:
“We want to pray for peace and reconciliation in our city at this time. We want to send out a message of hope and celebration of difference at this Christmas season.”
Fr Magill noted that the vigil would take place on the Tuesday after the lighting of the second Advent candle in many churches throughout the land. Drawing on the special Advent liturgy prepared by the Hope and History Campaign, he said the prayers of those present would also aim towards inspiring people to commit to work for peace and reconciliation. He said:
There’s a prayer in week two of the Hope and History Advent liturgy that says:
“And so as we light the second candle
As a beacon of justice in an unjust world
And as a symbol of our commitment
To act justly and promote mercy
In this neighbourhood.”