‘It will be revealed with fire’

We all watched with horror as the flames licked the beautiful structure of one of the world’s greatest churches, an icon, not just to the people of Paris and France, not just some kind of monument to be visited but an expression of faith and holiness and piety.  As others have said, Notre Dame was the soul of the nation.

Notre Dame

I was asked yesterday to write a prayer for others to pray in the aftermath. This is it, with the text from St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians that was in my mind.

‘It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done.’ (1 Corinthians 3.13)

Lord Jesus,
your broken body, laid aside,
rose in glory.
Give resurrection hope to the people of Paris
and all who grieve the destructive fire
at Notre Dame.
From the ashes may beauty once more arise,
as from the grave our new life comes.
Amen.

Our Cathedral Organist, Peter Wright, was due to give a recital on the great organ of Notre Dame in just a few days’ time.  Though that will not be happening we are delighted that Olivier Latry,  who holds the post of one of four titulaires des grands orgues  Notre Dame is due to give a recital on the organ of Southwark Cathedral on Thursday 9 May at 7pm.  Tickets are available here.  We will take the opportunity of him being with us to take a post-recital collection in aid of the restoration of Notre Dame.  Some things, by God’s grace, so long planned, come just at the right moment!

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