Online book of reflection opens for people who have died from Covid-19

Cathedral Dean Stephen Forde said Lives Reflected was a way of helping people celebrate the lives of those lost since the start of the pandemic.(Photo: Church of Ireland)

Belfast Cathedral is inviting members of the public to pay tribute to their loved ones who have passed from coronavirus in an online book of reflection. 

Lives Reflected offers an opportunity for people to reflect on the lives of their friends and loved ones, and the sacrifices and efforts of everyone affected by the pandemic in their community. 

Tributes, personal reflections and stories can be uploaded to the Lives Reflected website, which will then appear on digital display boards inside Belfast Cathedral.

The Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, said he hoped the book of reflection would inspire positive messages of love, hope, kindness, and the celebration of life. 

 "This initiative is to help people celebrate the lives of those who are special, whether reflecting on lives lost in our communities since the start of the current pandemic, or giving thanks for the inspiration and dedication of those who have carried us through its darkest days," he said. 

"Belfast Cathedral wants Lives Reflected to be a shared space where people can bring forward accounts that will help families and individuals on their journey through bereavement and towards personal healing." 

A physical space for reflection has been set aside inside the cathedral for members of the public to light a candle for their loved ones.

Selected messages from the website will be chosen to appear on permanent panels to be displayed inside the cathedral at a future date. 

As part of the Lives Reflected initiative, artists are also being invited to create a unique work of art to commemorate the first anniversary of Northern Ireland going into lockdown on 23 March 2021.

"Through all the restrictions of these past months, it has been so difficult to gather our memories and share our stories of those we have loved and known, but lost," said Rev Forde.

"Lives Reflected allows us a place to share our memories and celebrate the best in the people we know. Lives Reflected can be a place of healing for our losses, and a promise of togetherness for the future."