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Harvest Thanksgiving Ceremony, St. Mary’s Church, Littleton, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Ms Martha Melbourne Reports:-

It is that time of year when the thoughts of Christians turn to harvest thanksgiving.
The annual Church of Ireland ‘Harvest Thanksgiving Ceremony’ was held in St. Mary’s Church, Littleton, on Sunday night last, October 15th.

Harvest Thanksgiving Ceremony, St. Mary’s Church Littleton, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

This year as we reflect on the changing weather patterns, experienced during the year, God has still provided a harvest for which we are extremely grateful.

St. Mary’s Church as always was decorated beautifully, with an old plough which was used on the Melbourne family farm years ago. An abundance of flowers, fruit, vegetables, fodder beet and a bog-barrow, laden with turf from the local bog was used to great effect in the Church decorations. These displays symbolised God’s gifts to us and how lucky we, as a nation, are to live on the island of Ireland. where, in spite of our daily trials and tribulations, we are truly blessed.

The service was led by Archdeacon Robin Bantry-White who welcomed visitors from the Church of Our Lady and St. Kevin, Littleton and St. Peters, Church, Moycarkey, together with our Ukrainian friends and fellow parishioners.

Archdeacon Bantry-White especially welcomed Fr. Tom Fogarty, PP, latter who read the Gospel and joined in the final blessing together with Canon Patrick Harvey, Rector of Abbeyleix Union of Parishes, latter who preached a very thought provoking sermon on communication.

Canon Harvey reminded all gathered that in a world full of communication methods and technology, we often fail to communicate with each other, especially face to face and also with God, in a meaningful way.

The congregation were joined by fellow Christian’s from Ukraine who recently travelled from their war torn land to our village. Diocesan reader Mr Tommy Cooke, led prayers for peace in Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and all war torn parts of our world.
Our Ukrainian visitors joined in the service and Alla sang a beautiful song in Ukrainian, about love and God’s love. Though the congregation may not have understood the lyrics sung in Ukrainian; her beautiful voice communicated the emotion of their journey to our shores as we listened attentively.
It is hoped that they will feel a warm welcome and safety in Ireland and enjoy peace in their country soon. In spite of their harrowing journey to Littleton and the pain of leaving loved ones and their homes behind;
our Ukrainian guests took the time to prepare some traditional Ukrainian cakes and delicious treats to share in fellowship, over a cup of tea, following the service.
After all we are God’s children with more in common than in differences. Together we share in Gods blessings and live to do his work, to his praise and glory.

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