In the wake of the atrocity in Manchester Arena on Monday night, prayers have been said around the world for those killed, injured or bereaved by the act of a suicide bomber.
In Belfast, St Anne’s Cathedral has candles burning in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit and has invited people to come into this sacred space to pray and reflect.
Across Connor Diocese, parishes are remembering those affected in different ways, many through the medium of social media.
They include Holy Trinity Portrush and Ballymena Parish (A Collect for Peace), Glenavy Parish with the Rev John Rutter posting some thoughts on the tragedy, and St Polycarp’s which added a ‘Prayer for Peace in the face of terrorist attacks.’
The Rev Jason Kernohan, rector of Eglantine Parish, Lisburn, has written a prayer which others may wish to use at this time. He shares it here:
Almighty God, you created this world, and have made each of us in your own image. An image that should be reflective of your love for us and for all humanity. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world – a world which has grown to be uncaring and full of prejudice – a world of hatred rather than love. We come before you asking for forgiveness. Today our thoughts are with the people of Manchester, a city devastated by the atrocity which occurred last night. May you send your holy angels to receive the souls of all the innocent victims of violence who have lost their lives. Send your Holy Spirit to those who have been bereaved, giving them comfort and assurance that death is not the end. We pray for families awaiting news of a loved one yet unfound, and ask you to console all who witnessed this tragedy.
Just as the Archangel St Michael conquered the evil one, we your humble servants pray that our Christian witness may be as strong today.
We ask this in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ who is alive and reigns for us, one God, now and for evermore.