Kate and Rosemary both took part in Pax Christi’s annual Advent Service at St Aloysius church near Euston in London this week. Kate shares what she enjoyed about the occasion.
Jesuit Refugee Service UK was invited to offer a testimony and focus for prayer for a gathering of people who work for justice all the way through the year. We were together to listen to stories, reflect on scripture and sing. The event was both intercession for people who all year round struggle in impossible circumstances and a festive celebration at the same time.
This service was particularly important to me. It was beautifully designed and presented with a lot of thought and love – whether through the choir, Westminster Deaf Service interpreters or the different creative stations for prayer. It is not often that I feel my worship truly reflects my work and commitment to working for peace. So I am grateful that on occasion we were able to honour refugees, those caught up in the troubles in the Holy Land, women who suffer from violence and those who seek to transform conflict throughout the world.
Each theme had a scripture verse, a personal story, a prayer from Pope Francis or a litany and a song. During the service we were all invited to make a pilgrimage around the church to each area, by way of accompanying people throughout the world who find themselves in situations of flight, discrimination, trafficking or isolation. We sang in English, Arabic and Hebrew and made a commitment to instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace. It meant a lot to me to share those words with a mix of people who I know do that in their daily lives.
After the service, we all went downstairs to share a mince pie and glass of wine. JRS had a stall with crafts made by refugees in Kenya (www.jrsea.org/mikono
) and sold more than £100 of products. Thank you to everyone who bought something from us.
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