Candles of Atonement

In 2020, the bishops of Ireland blessed and dedicated candles of atonement for use in cathedrals and parishes throughout Ireland, starting on Ash Wednesday and burned thereafter during the celebration of Mass and other liturgies the following year.

These candles were visible signs of the annual Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, which was begun by Pope Francis and was first marked in Irish dioceses and parishes in 2017.

Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “In lighting these candles we will bring to mind our brothers and sisters, and their families, who have been left with a lifelong suffering as a result of abuse, whose trust was so deeply betrayed and whose faith has been so cruelly tested within the sanctity of the Church by perpetrators of abuse….

“The ‘Candle of Atonement’ and accompanying prayer <see below> are offered as a reminder to all of the need for us to atone, to ask forgiveness as a Church for the suffering caused by abuse. My hope is that these candles will be lit in Cathedrals and parishes across the country as a reminder of the need for atonement and that they will symbolize repentance, light in the darkness and hope.”

Does your diocese offer candles of atonement, to connect parishes in prayer for victims, their families, for those who failed us, and for the whole Church?
Do you understand how the whole Church suffers with victims and their families — and bears some of the burden for the failure to protect children?

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