Over 2000 attend IKA’s Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving commemorating organ donors

A congregation of over 2000 attended the 33rd Irish Kidney Association’s Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving at Corpus Christi Church, Homefarm Road, Dublin to honour organ donors and their families. At the ecumenical Service were courageous families of deceased organ donors and living donors and grateful transplant recipients of heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas and bone marrow.

This annual event is organised by the Irish Kidney Association, and this year the charity organisation, celebrates its 40th anniversary. The inaugural Service, in 1986, had an attendance of 300 people and, since then, the numbers have increased annually and, in recent years, over 2000 people have attended from all over Ireland.

Also attending as part of the organ donation and transplant community were patient advocacy groups and leading members of the medical and nursing profession and transplant coordinators.

The Annual Service, which is now in its 33rd year, also marks the anniversary of the production of the ‘Book of Remembrance’. This ‘Roll of Honour’ has been an integral part of the Service since its inception inscribed with the names of organ and tissue donors. This symbolic Service is a mixture of sadness and joy for the families of organ donors and transplant recipients alike.  For many donor families this unique Service has become an anniversary to both remember their loved ones, and for transplant recipients, the opportunity to honour and give thanks for the wonderful ‘gift of life’ they have received.

Broadcaster Claire Byrne, the ambassador for organ donor awareness 2018, recited a poem at the symbolic ecumenical Service.  Claire was invited to commence the symbolic ‘Ceremony of Light’ by reading Helen Custer’s ‘A Candle’ to remember those who have died and to commemorate the resurrection of life.

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