Among the Cloud of Irish Witnesses

How this booklet came into being.

About 1988 the Liturgical Advisory Committee of the General Synod was investigating the matter of a list of commemorations of worthies of the Church of Ireland from earliest times. As there was little prospect of such a programme of commemorations being presented to the Synod for official authorization the Committee suggested to Bishop George Simms, then one of its consultants, that he might facilitate the preparation of an unofficial Irish "supplement" to the book Cloud of Witnesses, published in England by Collins.

Bishop Simms duly produced a set of notes about some of the Irish saints, mostly those with widely known church dedications and a number of later worthies. Along with these went suggestions for prayer and intercession. Pressure of work meant that the Committee was never able to thank Bishop Simms by preparing those notes for publication. As Honorary Secretary I had charge of the document and I have supplemented the bishop's notes with memorial prayers some of which develop ideas in them. As time went on it became clear that some significant names had been omitted from the original list e.g. Declan, Kevin and Otteran. I have therefore ventured to add notes and suggestions for prayer for a further half dozen or so individuals, as well as listing some appropriate sets of scripture readings.

The original notes of Bishop Simms are marked with the character S. -- the letter with which he signed his Saturday reflections in the Irish Times for so many years. I hope that the remainder of the notes and prayers will be found useful.

This booklet has no official standing and is offered as a tribute to the service George Otto Simms, bishop, gave to liturgical revision in the Church of Ireland over many years. As he has joined the cloud of witnesses with which we are compassed it is hoped that he would approve of the publication of these notes and prayers to remind us of all the saints of Ireland.

Downpatrick, Easter 1994.

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