Sorrowful song for Gaza and the world

Today at Bath Abbey the parish communion was about the sad state of the world and in particular what is happening in Gaza. Edward Mason the rector gave us an extract from Time for Action about ‘Our shame: Britain and the historical conflict’ … he also spoke carefully about the danger of apparently simple solutions and the need for prayer, protest and belief – that things can change.

During communion one of Henryk Gorecki’s Sorrowful Songs was played. As we moved slowly through the church towards the communion rail the music was powerfully affecting. Played slowly and quietly it’s a reminder of the death camps, of Gaza and Ukraine, of the countless wars and suffering caused by war and cruelty. The suffering to all involved,.. human – both the perpetrators and the victims and indeed the suffering of all creatures and creation caught in violence and war zones. This is the context of the Lord’s table. In the song the singer cries for ‘mother’ … for Mary to protect us.  Edward writes that it’s also ‘a reminder of a child longing for a parent as Jesus longed for his Father – a reminder of longing for the joy of heaven, a joy that God promises us today,. A joy that will come’.

Listening to the music again is a powerful and upsetting experience but one that moves me to hope that somehow something might change …