Thursday, January 17, 2013

Resources for churches marking Holocaust Memorial Day

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) has created resources to help churches relate the themes of the Holocaust to their services.

Holocaust Memorial Day is marked around the world each year on 27 January.

The resources were produced in partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

They include readings, prayers and commentaries related to this year's theme, Communities Together: Build a Bridge.

CCJ chief executive the Reverend David Gifford spoke of the enduring importance of Holocaust Memorial Day as parts of the world continue to be affected by conflict.

"With the horrors of Syria and northern Nigeria in the news almost daily, the world still searches for more people to be bridge builders," he said.

"Holocaust Memorial Day this year points very directly to the fact that our common future with reconciliation and peace in our communities will be a pipe dream unless courageous men and women take the risky and costly path of reaching out to those who are different from themselves."

The set of prayers includes a refrain - "By bridges we live/Help us to build" - which alludes to Philip Larkin's Bridge for the Living poem, which ends with the line "always it is by bridges that we live".

The Reverend Patrick Morrow, of the CCJ, said: "In keeping with this year's theme, they will help us all to look at how estrangement - them-and-us thinking - can come about, and how, through simple acts of humanity and kindness, we can and must build bridges between our communities."

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