When I last wrote for this column two weeks ago, I described the call to Churches throughout the island of Ireland to take part together in a blessing in song for the frontline workers who have been involved in the fight against Covid-19.
The blessing would be a variation on the now-weekly routine of people coming together to applaud the NHS and frontline workers on Thursday evenings, only in this case this would be by people from various Churches and Christian organisations in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The practice of Churches coming together to sing a blessing is part of a growing international movement which has taken place in Sweden, Canada, South Africa and Vietnam, to mention only a few. (To listen to some of these go to www.theirishblessing.com)
Since the call went out, the whole process has moved on considerably.
There were over 400 submissions in a variety of forms presenting huge challenges to be as inclusive as possible in a six-minute video.
This column gives me an opportunity to salute all those who took time to submit and also attempt a submission, even if in the end, some people, for whatever reason, did not so.
This involved a huge amount of effort on the part of all those who contributed, from learning the beautiful new arrangement by Jonathan Rea of the traditional hymn Be Thou My Vision to working out how to record it and upload it.
I also want to acknowledge the dedication of a small group of volunteers and the talent of a super production team.
The video, if all goes to plan, will be released tomorrow, Pentecost Day, on YouTube at Irish Blessing 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsEpreI0a79mmgM2XS5RnEQ).
Reflecting back on the last three weeks of this project, I have come across an incredible variety of churches dotted around the four corners of Ireland.
The idea of doing something like this with churches north and south is fraught with much complexity - not only religious, but also political and linguistic.
I have been involved in the work of reconciliation right from my first years of ministry over 30 years ago.
In some ways, I trace some of my involvement back to a chance encounter in 1986 with a group of American students whom I met on the way back from university to the Irish College in Rome where I was studying to be a priest.
After exchanging pleasant remarks, we got to chatting about where we came from and when I said Belfast, one of the students, without a moment's hesitation, said: "Oh yes, that's the place where Catholics and Protestants kill each other."
I've never forgotten that remark. I believe my work for reconciliation in the form of the 4 Corners Festival in Belfast is my way of playing a part so that people see Belfast, Northern Ireland and Ireland as places of hope and light, instead of conflict and division.
In the daily lectionary which we follow within Catholic liturgy, during the week there were readings from the discourse of Jesus with his apostles at the Last Supper before his suffering and death, including these words: "Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as You are in me and I am in You so that the world may believe it was You who sent me."
For those of us who believe in Jesus today, and he was praying for us in those words just quoted, our unity in Him contributes to the world believing in Him.
Fr Martin Magill is parish priest of St John's, Belfast
Some Scripture readings for the week ahead:
Monday: John 17:20-21
Tuesday: Psalm 90:14
Wednesday: 2 Tim 1:12
Thursday: Psalm 25:4
Friday: John 3:16