Three Faiths United

by Gerry Lynch last modified 02 Dec, 2015 04:43 PM

Members of Abrahamic Faiths come together at Dorset carol service for Israel-Palestine

Members of the three Abrahamic faiths came together in an unusual event at Wimborne Minster.

Called The Promise of Advent: Carols for Justice in Israel-Palestine, the service used updated words to traditional tunes, reflecting the sad reality of Bethlehem today.

A Palestinian Christian refugee, an observant Jew and a representative of Bournemouth Islamic Centre were among the readers.

Passages from the scriptures of all three faiths and more modern readings gave the congregation food for thought.

A piece written by an Israeli woman who lost her only daughter to a Palestinian suicide bomber showed solidarity with bereaved mothers on both sides. Another by an Israeli soldier expressed shock at his colleagues’ ill-treatment of Palestinian children.

Colin Brady, the Diocese’s Social Justice Programme manager said afterwards on social media, “‘Moving’ doesn’t quite have the power to describe this evening’s service at Wimborne Minster.

“To hear a former British Consul General in Jerusalem read from the prophet Micah 'and he shall be the one of peace'”, he continued, “and to hear the Kaddish sung in Aramaic [the Jewish prayer for the dead sung in the native language of Christ] was to be exposed to something very powerful and prayerful.

“But I wasn't the only one who was particularly moved to hear the reading of the story of the Annunciation read from the Koran, followed by its translation.”

Stephen Dominy, the Christian Aid Co-ordinator for Dorset, said it was an emotional service which provoked “awe, anger, solidarity and hope”.

The service – which took place by kind permission of the rector Canon Vanessa Herrick – followed a day of workshops for sixth formers at Queen Elizabeth’s School on many aspects of the situation in Israel-Palestine.

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