It was a beautiful, sunny late summer afternoon in Armagh, as Archbishop Richard’s family, colleagues and friends gathered with him in St Patrick’s Cathedral for a special celebration of the Eucharist to thank God for the life and ministry of our much loved Primate.
Dr Clarke has served as Curate Assistant in Holywood and in Dublin. As Dean of Trinity College Dublin. As a Rector in Bandon, Co Cork and as Dean of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. And as Bishop of Meath and Kildare before coming to Armagh as Archbishop in October 2012.
The preacher at the service was the Archbishop of Dublin.
Together with a mixture of anecdote and biography of Archbishop Richard’s life, Archbishop Michael focused our attention on the threefold Order of Ministry of Deacon, Priest and Bishop:
A Deacon voices discipleship. A Priest voices presence. A Bishop voices engagement.
The Archbishop went on to say he believed that all of the explorations and expressions of the three ordained ministries are already present and powerful in the laity and that the releasing of these gifts and inspirations as lay leadership, is a work on which the Church of Ireland, so dear to the heart of The Primate, has only begun. Both Archbishops have been much inspired by the work and ministry of The Community of StEgidio which is found on the banks of the River Tiber in Italy. Archbishop Michael said “this is a community that cuts through so much of contemporary hierarchicalism, a lay community with an episcopal chaplain. This is a community that combines what we in Ireland have found so problematic and so enigmatic: catholicism and evangelicalism. They are not incompatible, too many of us have contrived to make them so.”
Following the celebration of the Eucharist, the large congregation enjoyed afternoon tea in the Alexander Synod Hall and Archbishop Richard was presented with a gift of a day out at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
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