One hundred and seventy-eight years ago the world was plagued by the cholera epidemic. In his poem In Memoriam, Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “Ring out old shapes of foul disease”. Could he ever have guessed that his words would ring true again for our time of Covid. The human spirit is strong and now again, we look to see the light of hope and the promise of better times ahead as we embrace 2024.
Extract from In Memoriam, Ring out, wild bells, by Alfred Lord Tennyson written in 1846:
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, the flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let it die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let it go; Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease; Ring in the nobler modes of life;
Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be.
From the Ennis Parish Newsletter, Adapted
A Prayer for the New Year: Month of January, month of frost, month of wind and rain, month of darkness! O Lord, be with us this January. We do not know what is in store for us during this year but we can be certain God will be with us. Lord Jesus, your birth bound heaven and earth in harmony and peace. Establish that peace among nations and peoples of today. Lord, we ask you to overcome the walls of hatred between nations; clear the way for those who work for peace, move the hearts of those who govern. We place this year under the protection of God. Amen