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National Day of Sorrow and Promise

Posted by CRA on 22 October 2021

CRA’s annual National Day of Sorrow and Promise is in its fourth year and will be held on the Sunday 24 October 2021. All are welcome to participate and we encourage you to include it in your publications’ calendar if appropriate.

The National Day of Sorrow and Promise offers a national response from Catholic Religious across the country to recognise all who have been harmed from abuse in the Church and to make a commitment to a safer future. Naming the abuse, pain and suffering helps us to ensure that such abuse does not occur again. Praying calls the Holy Spirit to work amongst that pain and suffering. This year’s theme encourages us to focus on being at the Foot of the Cross.


Date:    Sunday 24 October 2021
Time:    5.00pm and 6.00pm – One hour together on one day, to be one across the nation.

The Liturgy can be prayed at different times, depending on what suits your organisation.



This year’s theme encourages us to focus on being at the Foot of the Cross. In our prayer time we are gently led to stand with Mary, to be present with her at the crucifixion of Jesus as we imaginatively contemplate the Gospel passage.



A sacred space is created by placing a cross or crucifix placed against a rock, with smaller rocks or pebbles at the base of the cross. The ritual is to take a rock from the foot of the cross, to symbolise the burden carried by people who have suffered sexual abuse. The ritual is explained in detail in the Liturgy Booklet.


Guided Meditation

This year, we have also added a guided meditation. You are invited to listen to the Gospel and contemplate the scene at the foot of the cross. We invite the Holy Spirit to speak to us through our imagination, feelings, memories, longings.



We have provided a suggestion of ten very different musical arrangements you may like to consider, five traditional Christian hymns and five contemporary Christian songs of worship.



We have prepared the following resources:

  • Liturgy Booklet in full colour and in monochrome (B&W)
  • PowerPoint as a visual support to the liturgy
  • Word version of the B&W version, should you wish to use part only
  • Music suggestions, listed in the booklets, embedded in the PPT and provided as a separate sheet
  • Audio and video recording of one of the survivor’s stories
  • Promise statement as a separate sheet
  • Social media tiles


Sharing Resources

  • DROPBOX: We have attached the colour Liturgy Booklet but placed all the above resources in Dropbox (click on this link). You do not need a Dropbox account in order to access files.
  • GOOGLE DRIVE: We have also uploaded the resources to Google Drive (click on this link).


Liturgy Booklet

The Liturgy Booklet has been designed to be printed as an A5 booklet. Instructions on printing the booklet have been included in the files in Dropbox.

If you need to make a change to the booklet, you can do so; the Word file has also been provided in the Dropbox link below.

Please adapt the liturgy to suit your circumstances for a small or large gathering. The number of readers you wish to engage is up to you.


The Promise Statement

There is a new Promise Statement, which has been included at the end of the Liturgy booklet; it too can be read out during the Liturgy, if you wish. However, you may wish to end with the hymn in the Liturgy Booklet.

Use the Promise Statement as you wish. It can be added to your website and you can share it via social media platforms. The Word version has been added to the Dropbox link.


Thank you

This year’s National Day of Sorrow and Promise has again been a collaborative work of listening, sharing and creating. We are blessed to have the generosity of wonderful people to assist us in producing such an important experience as this:

  • Tom McDonough CP
  • James Parker
  • Ann O’Brien
  • Vince Casey – new to our team
  • Teresa Pirola – new to our team
  • Sylvia MacRitchie-Hook
  • Anne Walker


The Liturgy Booklet and PPT is also on the CRA website.


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