Order of the special prayer service at St George’s Tron in Glasgow

StGeorgeTron
St George's Tron Parish Church in Glasgow hosted a special prayer service this morning

Please find below the order of service from today's special prayer service at St George's Tron in Glasgow following yesterday's tragedy.

1. Welcome from Rev Alastair Duncan, minister St George's Tron Church of Scotland.
2. Carol 'In the Bleak Mid-Winter'
3. Reading by Presbytery Clerk and former Moderator Very Rev Bill Hewitt
4. Rev Stuart Smith Moderator of Glasgow Presbytery offered a simple reflection and led another prayer:

"It has been well said that "people make Glasgow"; but yesterday Glasgow lost some of her people, and others were terribly injured, in circumstances more sudden and shocking than we could have imagined, if the evidence for it was not so obvious just a few yards away.
Each death and each injury is of course a personal tragedy; and we need to pray God's blessing on those in greatest need, especially through those who are throwing their arms around them.

"But it is also Glasgow who has lost her people, and as a city we all suffer: as we stood together just over a year ago at another tragedy; and as we have celebrated so many good things this year; so once again we come together now to mourn our loss, side by side, arm in arm, a city united in grief."

5. Time of silent reflection or prayer
6. Carol 'Silent Night'
7. Rev Stuart Smith closed the service with a blessing.

Around 400 people attended the service, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Lord Provost of Glasgow Sadie Docherty, Leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Mathieson, Leader of the Scottish Labour party Jim Murphy MP, Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Ruth Davidson MSP and Labour MP for Glasgow Central Anas Sarwar.

Here is the full reflection by the Moderator of the Presbytery of Glasgow Rev Stuart Smith.

It has been well said that "people make Glasgow"; but yesterday Glasgow lost some of her people, and others were terribly injured,in circumstances more sudden and shocking than we could have imagined,if the evidence for it was not so obvious just a few yards away.

Each death and each injury is of course a personal tragedy;and we need to pray God's blessing on those in greatest need,especially through those who are throwing their arms around them.

But it is also Glasgow who has lost her people,and as a city we all suffer: as we stood together just over a year ago at another tragedy; and as we have celebrated so many good things this year;so once again we come together now to mourn our loss, side by side, arm in arm, a city united in grief.

John Chalmers, the Moderator of the General Assembly,spoke yesterday of the need for Glaswegians to "dig deep into their reserves of compassion and sympathy as they support the families of those who have been killed and injured".

We know that he is right – the need is great.

We also know that we can, because this city has done it before,and found in the midst of tragedy, a strength that does not let us down.

So let us commit ourselves to caring for those who suffer today,sitting in silence with those who need time to think, listening with sympathetic ears to questions and cries of pain, and praying for those we know – and those whom we have never met – alongside their parents, children, loved ones, and colleagues, together with whom we are the people who make Glasgow. Anyone's death diminishes us all, because we are involved in humankind.

In just a few minutes yesterday afternoon a scene of celebrations and festive lights in George Square turned to devastation and despair – a bleak mid-winter, and darkness indeed.

But almost immediately, first volunteers and passers-by, and then emergency services appeared on the scene,bringing compassion, skill, dedication and light into the darkness – in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy,and then on through the night around our city,an effort that will continue for as long as it is needed.

The light shines on in the darkness, and even the darkness has not put it out: emergency services, healthcare workers, council staff, private individuals, Glaswegian humanity doing what it does best.

It is of course a terrible thing to happen at this time of year:but the truth is it would be equally awful at any time.

But the Christian celebration of Christmas has never been about suspending reality for a festive period to imagine peace on earth.

It is about a birth in hard times and difficult circumstances,to parents who could not understand what was happening,in a place where life seemed cheap and tears were common.

The Gospel writer, Matthew, recognised the Christmas story as the fulfilment of an ancient Hebrew prophecy – A voice is heard… weeping and great mourning.