Welcome to the spirituality page of the Christ Church website.
This page will be regularly updated with details of our spirituality programme at the cathedral and links to other programmes that may be of interest to those who are concerned about the spiritual/interior life from a Christian perspective.
In the cathedral we have a small chapel that is used each day by visitors for personal prayer. On the altar of that chapel (commonly called the Trinity Chapel) is an icon, pictured below.
The Trinity Icon is written in the style of the Russian Iconographer, Andrei Rublev, considered one of the greatest medieval icon writers of his time. This icon was written by Georgetta Simion following a commission by the Dean of Christ Church in 2009. Georgetta studied art at the University of Bucharest and is a prolific icon writer of the Romanian school.
The space in the foreground of the icon invites us into the relationship of the Trinity. That is what this page of the cathedral website also aims to do: it invites you into the relationship of the Trinity through the practices of Christian spirituality that have been handed on to us from generations gone by.
Retreat in the City 2014
Sue Grier (rear left) with some retreatants gathering for the first session
On 21-23 February the second Retreat in the City was held in Christ Church. It was led by Sue Grier of Immanuel Christian Retreat Centre in Donegal.
During the weekend, retreatants were led on a journey through St Bonaventure's The Tree of Life, looking at the life, death, resurrection and glory of Jesus. A prayer that became important for retreatants over the weekend and that was used during times of reflection and in sessions is
For it is with devotion and tears that we should say:
Give us Your Fruit as our food,
And shed Your light upon our thoughts;
Lead us over the Straightest roads,
And foil the plans of our foe.
Fill us with your most sacred glory,
Inspire us with Holy thoughts;
Be unto those who fear Christ
A peaceful way of life.
Each of the branches of the Tree of Life held, for Bonaventure, aspects of the life of Jesus. So, for instance, the seventh and eighth branches represent Jesus' fortitude under torture and his victory over death. Bonaventure writes, "O my God, Jesus all-good! Unworthy though I am in nature and merits, grant that since I had not the privilege of being present in the body at these events, I may at least faithfully consider them in my mind, and feel toward You, my God, crucified and put to death for me, the very compassion Your innocent Mother and the penitent Magdalene experienced at the hour of Your passion."
We thank Sue Grier for her gentle guidance and input throughout our weekend together. Look out for details of Retreat in the City 2015 here soon.
Centring prayer is a method of prayer that comes out of the Christian tradition, principally The Cloud of Unknowing, by an anonymous 14th Century author and St. John of the Cross. The historical roots of centring prayer go back to St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusettes, where Fr. Thomas Keating was abbot from 1961 to 1981. Today centring prayer is practised by people from all over the world with many networks of small faith communities such as Contemplative Outreach Ireland who in communion with many other networks from around the world are contributing to the renewal of the Christian contemplative dimension of the Gospel in everyday life.
There is a centring prayer group that meets in the cathedral’s ancient crypt each Wednesday night from 7.30-8.30pm. If you would like to know more please come and join us or contact the Rev'd Garth Bunting, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the method of centring prayer please watch this clip by Fr Thomas Keating by clicking here.
The cathedral spirituality programme from September 2014 - June 2015 is currently being finalised. Please check back here soon for updated details.