But there is something about this place that goes beyond its beauty. Perhaps it's because of the centuries of prayer and Christian witness, perhaps it's the example of St. Fin Barre himself or maybe it is because this place predates our man-made church denominations. In the sixth century there were no Protestant or Roman Catholic churches in Ireland, that all came later (and all the pain / mess that came with it which continues to this day). Last night at the Institution service for the new Rector in Bandon, Rev. Denis MacCarthy, there was a particular prayer before the Holy Communion that struck a chord with me:
As the grain once scattered in the fields
and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside
are now reunited on this table in bread and wine,
so, Lord, may your whole Church soon be gathered together
from the corners of the earth into your kingdom. Amen.
All pictures taken using Nikon F100, Nikkor 18-35mm lens and Fujichrome Sensia 100 Slide Film (which has now sadly been discontinued).