8 November 2020
By Mary Bermingham
As part of the annual Remembrance/All Souls’ weekend, Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork opened temporarily on Saturday 7th November, for personal prayer as permitted by current level 5 regulations, to allow members of the public to come in to light a candle in memory of those who have died as a result of Covid-19.
A specially chosen globe-shaped candle stand was commissioned and manufactured in Sweden and was be the focal point for candle lighting and prayer.
Bishop Paul Colton had originally sourced the stand for use in conjunction with a prayer area being developed in the Cathedral during the period of historic centenary commemorations. However, with the onset of the pandemic, it was decided to bring it into use sooner to meet the more immediate need for Corkonians to remember those who have died from Covid-19 both here and across the world.
Bishop Paul Colton and Bishop Fintan Gavin dedicated the new candle stand in a private ceremony prior to the Cathedral opening to the public on Saturday morning.
Bishop Colton said,
“In these troublesome times people really do need opportunities to remember loved ones and to pray. Being globe-shaped, this candle stand reminds us that this pandemic has not only had a serious impact on us locally, but is a shared experience across the whole world. It also reminds us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world…”
The Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne said,
“Who would have thought that something planned for marking commemoration of past sufferings would have been so badly needed for present times? Our brief re-opening on Saturday during this important weekend [was] but a small but important opportunity for people to find somewhere to remember and pray, albeit briefly and in a controlled environment.”
The Cathedral opened on Saturday (7th November) from 11.00am to 1.00pm and from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Those entering were asked to wear a mask and sanitise their hands, and were guided (socially distanced) to the Crossing where they could light their candle and pause briefly for prayer.