Members of the four main Christian churches in Moville came together on Sunday afternoon to take part in a Pentecost Walk of Witness, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.
The walk – which moves between the Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian churches – has become a staple part of the religious calendar in the town. Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday and is regarded by many as the day which marked the birth of the Christian church.
This year’s Walk of Witness began with hymns and prayers in St Columb’s Church of Ireland, led by local curate, Rev Suzanne Cousins. Rev Cousins recalled the first Pentecost, when a sound like the rush of a violent wind came suddenly from heaven, filling the entire house where the apostles were sitting, and a tongue of fire rested on each of them. “What an occasion that was,” Rev Cousins said, “its energy and power and joy far surpassing even a royal wedding or a big football match.”
God’s word to the world, she said, through the multilingual church, was that Christ had died but he had risen again and that he would come again. “And the message is that all are welcome to God’s kingdom,” Rev Cousins said. “God loves all of us as he showed in his son, Jesus Christ.”
After a short service, worshippers left St Columb’s Church in gentle rain, to walk the short distance to St Pius X’s Roman Catholic Church, where Fr Patrick McGoldrick led the congregation in more gospel readings and hymn-singing. Participants processed next to Moville Methodist Church, where worship was led by Reverend Alison Gallagher, and finally to Moville Presbyterian Church, where the service was led by Church Elder Betty Lyle (deputising for the local minister).
The final leg of the Walk of Witness was the shortest of all – from the Presbyterian Church to Glencrow Hall, where the walkers enjoyed tray bakes and tea or coffee.