Church choirs, singers and musicians invited to join ‘virtual’ blessing for frontline workers

Singers and musicians in churches throughout the island of Ireland are being invited to take part in a unique singing musical and blessing experience. The Irish Blessing is a new initiative which will recognise and honour the dedication 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.

Project joint co–ordinator, Fr. Martin Magill, Parish Priest, St. John the Evangelist, Belfast, outlined the background to the choice of hymn.

“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,” he stated.

Fellow organiser Philip McKinley, a Dublin–based Church of Ireland ordinand, added that the hymn invites us to look beyond ourselves. “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,” he commented.

PRACTICAL DETAILS

If you are interested in participating in this exciting project, please subscribe to the website: https://theirishblessing.com/the-irish-blessing/sign-up

Once signed–up, you will be notified this Saturday May 16 to download, from https://theirishblessing.com, our Recording Guide Resources, which will contain all the information you will need to record and submit your contribution. THE DEADLINE FOR RECORDED SUBMISSIONS IS 12 NOON ON FRIDAY 22ND MAY.  Once submitted, your recording 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 YouTube on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, at 11am.