Belfast Cathedral marked Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, at its 1pm Lunchtime Prayer Service with special prayers appropriate for the commemoration.
They included the powerful prayer below, written by an unknown prisoner in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and found beside a child’s body at the liberation of the camp:
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will.
But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us;
Remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering –
Our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity,
the greatness of heart which has grown out of this,
And when they come to judgement
Let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness.
(From the Oxford Book of Prayer, Ed George Appleton, OUP 1987 ISBN 0-19-213222-9)
The Cathedral also lit candles next to a copy of Psalm 42 in the Hebrew Scriptures. On its Facebook page, it drew attention to music from the very poignant Letter to Kamilla – Music in Jewish Memory.
This composition by Michael Etherton and the cappella male voice quarter, Mosaic Voices, is a setting of words written by Michael Etherton’s great grandmother, Kamilla, in letters to her daughter who had escaped from Vienna to England. Kamilla died in the concentration camp at Auschwitz without knowing that her letters had ever reached her beloved daughter in England.