Church of Ireland moves Easter Day 2016 Services from city–centre churches as a result of arrangements for 1916 Commemorations
The Church of Ireland clergy of parishes in Dublin’s city centre have met the Archbishop of Dublin to discuss difficulties they foresee on Easter Day 2016 along with opportunities to provide worship for their parishioners on that day. In order to make possible commemorations marking the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the State has decided that no vehicular traffic will be allowed into the city centre from 6.00 am on Easter Day and has confirmed that this will be the case. Clergy of city centre parishes have been informed that there will be no ready access to their churches on that morning and the Garda Síochána have requested that the front gates of Christ Church Cathedral remain locked for the day.
This decision was made without consultation with the Dioceses and there is a considerable sense of disappointment and sadness at this but the Church’s priority now is to find a way of offering worship on the most significant day in the Christian calendar. The archbishop and clergy most affected by this in the parishes of the diocese in the city centre recognise the logistical difficulties in catering for between 350,000 and 500,000 visitors to the city on the day. They are also acutely aware of the health and safety issues involved in accessing the churches and the diocesan cathedral where Easter Day worship normally occurs when such large crowds are expected to be on the streets of the city to view the parade. The archbishop and clergy of the inner city communities have sought to find an accommodation which facilitates the primary provision of public worship and does not cause offence or undue difficulty to the organisers of the historic parade.
The diocesan cathedral and six parishes are located within the cordon which will be in place from 6.00 am until 8.00 pm on Easter Day to facilitate and secure the smooth running of the parade. In light of the fact that the majority of people who worship in the city centre churches do not today live within the traditional parish boundaries, the unanimous decision of the meeting was that churches which are accessible on the morning of Easter Day elsewhere in the suburbs (outside the cordon) will invite the clergy and congregations from those churches that are not accessible as a result of the restrictions to join them for worship. This process has already begun. Sandford Parish Church (Ranelagh) has invited the choir and congregation of Christ Church Cathedral to join them.
Parishioners may choose to attend services in these churches with their clergy or go to a church near them. In order to avoid a break in the witness of each church it is hoped that a member of the clergy may say The Office in his or her church on Easter Day.
Other arrangements for worship during Holy Week across the city centre churches, including the Easter Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter at Christ Church Cathedral on Easter Eve, will remain in place as usual.
Archbishop Michael Jackson would normally worship in Christ Church Cathedral on Easter Morning. “People will, understandably, be upset not to be able to worship in their parish churches on Easter Sunday. We are making this decision with regret but in recognition of the fact that people for whom we have a duty of care will find it very difficult to gain access to city centre churches on Easter Day. I look forward to celebrating Easter with the congregations of Christ Church Cathedral and Sandford Parish Church on Easter Morning. After that I intend to take up the invitation of the Government to attend the Ceremony of Commemoration at the GPO on what is a very significant day in the history of the State,” he said.
Arrangements for worship for all affected parishes have yet to be completed. The choir and congregation of St Ann’s and St Stephen’s will be invited to worship at St Philip’s, Milltown. The congregation of St George’s and St Thomas’s Church on Cathal Brugha Street will join the congregation in North Strand.
St Catherine’s Church on Donore Avenue and All Saints’ in Grangegorman are just inside the cordon and therefore it is envisaged that services will take place there on Easter Morning while the congregations of the other churches in their groups, St Audoen’s on Cornmarket and St Werburgh’s and St Michan’s, will travel to them.
There will be an Easter Vigil in St Ann’s, Dawson Street, on Easter Eve at 6.00 pm with the full choir. Arrangements will be made to have the car park at the rear of the church open.
For further information please contact:
Diocesan Communications Officer
Dublin & Glendalough
Mobile: 087 2356472
Email: Dublin & Glendalough DCO