Churches to prepare online video supporting frontline workers

Churches to prepare online video supporting frontline workers Fr Martin Magill

Singers and musicians from Christian churches across Ireland are being asked to join together in a virtual tribute and blessing for frontline workers that will be released at the end of this month.

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’.

One of the organisers of the project, Fr Martin Magill PP of St John the Evangelist parish, Belfast, said: “The words of the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’ can be traced back to 5th to 9th 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.”

Fellow organiser, Philip McKinley, Dublin-based Church of Ireland ordinand said: “God blesses us abundantly and is present with us, even in very difficult times. This song is an invitation to lift our eyes, to shift our vision far beyond ourselves, to Him.

“Ireland is famous for its blessings, 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.”

Once recordings are completed churches are invited to submit these to a central coordinating team where they will be considered for inclusion in an all-island version of the hymn. This final collaborative video will be released on YouTube on Pentecost Sunday, May 31 at 11am.

Church-based singers or musicians in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland are invited to download from the Recording Guide Pack from Saturday May 16. The deadline for recorded submissions is noon on Friday May 22.