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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 15 May 2011

Marking the United Nations' International Day of Families, Brian D'Arcy reflects on the importance of family and the place that is promised for us in the family of God with hymns and songs such as For the beauty of the earth, Lord of all hopefulness, and A new commandment. Featured singers: Manchester Chamber Choir, accompanied by Jeffrey Makinson, directed by Christopher Stokes. Producer: Simon Vivian.


    For the beauty of the earth
    England’s Lane
    Choir of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow

    O God in heaven, whose loving plan
    Manchester Chamber Choir

    Put peace into each other’s hands
    St Columba
    Verse and Chorus, and the choir & congregation of St Robert’s Church, Pannal,

    Happy the home that welcomes you
    Strength and Stay
    Manchester Chamber Choir

    Lord of all hopefulness
    Irish trad arr Barry Rose
    Manchester Chamber Choir

    Bind us together, Lord
    Bob Gillman
    Manchester Chamber Choir

    A new commandment
    Elizabeth Benson
    The New English Singers

    Thy hand, O God, has guided
    Choir of Methodist College, Belfast


    We pray that God will bless all families, especially those who are struggling to overcome poverty.

    We pray that God who is both father and mother to each of us will lead us to be part of God’s family in heaven.

    We remember Christian communities everywhere that they may set an example of unity and peace in this troubled world.

    And we ask God to heal and bless families divided by argument, jealousy, conflict and war.

    We pray for single parent families that God will reward them for the many sacrifices they make and we remember couples who have no children too.

    Lord grant that we may praise rather than criticise, be helpful rather than condemn, give rather than receive and may our homes become places where love and peace reign. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.


    We ask you Lord to bless us all. May the elderly members of our families be cared for, as they cared for us in earlier days.

    May all families be blessed with good health, peace and happiness. And may Christ who prayed for unity among his followers bless us with the vision to foster unity in our homes.

    Send the blessing of your consoling grace to those who have lost family members recently. And by our prayers tonight, may almighty God bless us all in this world and in the next. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.


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