Churches across Norfolk say prayers for Ukraine
Churches across Norfolk joined with millions of people around the world yesterday in a day of prayer for the situation in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
All church services across the Diocese of Norwich on Sunday February 27 included prayers for Ukraine and many churches opened to offer people a place to find space and silence for prayer.
A candlelit vigil was held yesterday evening at Norwich Anglican Cathedral. During the service there was a three-minute silence to remember all who have died, been injured or bereaved as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
The lights of the Cathedral were dimmed and people were invited to light candles, a symbol of hope that even in deep darkness, light will prevail, around a peace globe.
The Rev Canon Aidan Platten, the Cathedral’s Canon Precentor, said: “The traumatic scenes in Ukraine that have been brought into our homes in recent days leave many of us feeling powerless. One small thing that we can do in response, is to find a moment when we focus all our attention on those people many miles away who are in trouble and pain.
“This brief and simple vigil was one of those opportunities to come together in silence and prayer that hearts may be emptied of evil and pursue good will and peace.”
Reflecting on the situation in Ukraine, the Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher wrote: “I stood on Thursday night looking out on the floodlit City Hall, bathed in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, and all I could do was to bring all of this before God in the silence of prayer and the prayer of silence. War is never glorious. It’s a terrible business and our human species is sadly so adept at bringing it upon ourselves. We must weep for the tragedy which is war.
“The news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken us this week, though was not unexpected. Whilst we hoped and hoped that there would be a de-escalation, the intelligence all pointed the other way. It is an act of sheer evil, breaking all international law. We weep for those caught up in all of this. We can only imagine the gut-wrenching turmoil for the people of Ukraine.
“It has been heart-breaking to see tearful partings as children travel to safety, the agony of those injured and traumatised, and those packing a few precious belongings to begin an uncertain journey as refugees.
“’Blessed are the peacemakers’ said Jesus, just as, he said, are the poor, the hungry, the weeping. Jesus did not speak these words from a distance, but as one who experienced them personally. Today our hearts go out to those in Ukraine who are experiencing all kinds of poverty, who are hungry and those who weep for love and loss.
“I pray earnestly that the people of Ukraine might know God’s peace, where all tears are wiped away, where there is no hunger, and joy abounds, and those who are oppressing them and destroying their hopes will, as we begin Lent, turn away from sin.
“I invite you to join me in this day of prayer, with millions around the world, that those leading Russia into this war will have their hearts and minds changed and seek instead the path of peace.”
Pictured above, the peace globe at Norwich Cathedral, used during the Ukraine prayer vigil. Picture © Bill Smith/Norwich Cathedral.
Article extracts from www.dioceseofnorwich.org