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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Ploughing through the options as Ireland hunts for its favourite prayer

Visitors to the forthcoming 88th National Ploughing Championships in County Carlow have two new challenges: they are being asked to vote for their favourite traditional prayer, and to compose a prayer for the protection of the environment.

The search to discover Ireland’s best-loved prayer, and a new one focusing on care for the environment, is the quest of the Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Denis Nulty, in whose diocese the ploughing championship is once again being held, from 17th to 19th September.

Launching the search for Ireland’s favourite prayer, Bishop Nulty said: “In the most recent census, over 85 per cent of respondents said they had a religious affiliation. Prayer is still important for many citizens. In the two months leading up to the Ploughing Championships, I am asking people all around the country to choose the prayer they like most, such as the Rosary or the Lord’s Prayer. Perhaps a prayer learnt at their mother’s knee or handed down ó ghlúin go glúin in their family.”

Bishop Nulty added: “The Ploughing Championships takes place in the middle of the annual Season of Creation, from 1st September to 4th October. Because the three-day ploughing championship focuses on rural living, I am also inviting people to submit a personal prayer (no more than 100 words) about the environment which they compose themselves. This new environmentally centred prayer could relate to farming, gardening or sustainability.”

Bishop Nulty is extending his ‘Prayer at the Ploughing’ challenge to people of all ages and all faiths. He is hopeful that many school children will take up the challenge to write their own ‘green’ prayer and/or indicate which traditional prayer they prefer.

People can submit their preferences and entries to between now and 10th September. A shortlist of the favourite prayers will be displayed at the Kildare & Leighlin stand when the event gets underway at Ballintrane, near Fenagh in County Carlow on 17th September.

Picture: The National Ploughing Championships. (Julien Behal/PA).