The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, is this year spending Holy Week in the parish of Ballymena (Kilconriola) and Ballyclug.
Bishop Alan is attending all the Holy Week evening services at 8pm. The services are in a variety of styles – Monday evening was choral evensong, Tuesday evening was a Living Faith Service, Wednesday evening is a Service of the Word and Maundy Thursday is the washing of the feet.
On Friday morning there will be a family service at 10.30am followed by a Walk of Witness around the town carrying a cross.
On Good Friday night St Patrick’s is holding an atmospheric Tenebrae (Latin for ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness’) Service.
Today, Wednesday April 1, the bishop is spending all day in the parish – visiting some of the older parishioners (who receive Holy Communion in their homes). He attended the Holy Communion Service at 10.30am which was followed by refreshments.
Bishop Alan was also set to enjoy a soup lunch and tonight, before the Service of the Word, there is a dinner for those who participated in Ballymena’s Lenten Course ‘Discipleship Explored’ which the Bishop will also attend.
During the week, Bishop Alan has the opportunity to personally get to know many of Ballymena’s parishioners, including Sam and Patricia Letters who were married 60 years ago in St Patrick’s on March 23 1955 by the then rector, the Rev CHB Craig.
The service was at 1pm and it was the first time the bells of St Patrick’s had sounded for a wedding.