RTE MASS FROM ROSCREA
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RTE will broadcast St Patrick’s Day Mass live from Roscrea on Sunday At 11.am.
Late in 2012 Kairos Communications, who supply RTÉ with most of its religious programming, requested and was granted permission to televise and broadcast Mass for The Gathering on St. Patrick’s Day from St. Conan’s Catholic Church, Roscrea. Fr. Tom Corbett, PP graciously agreed to celebrate the Mass. Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Éireann, Roscrea came on board to provide the musicians, singers and dancers to enhance the sacred liturgy for this auspicious occasion.
In order to co-ordinate the myriad tasks which surround such a demanding venture a branch sub-committee consisting of Tim Maher (chairman Roscrea CCÉ), Michael McEvoy, Deirdre Bergin, Carol Thompson and Lucy McCarthy was set up. Well-known local choir director, Lucy McCarthy, vice-chairperson and one of the longest serving member of CCÉ Roscrea, took on the daunting task of selecting hymns and instrumental pieces and of training the choir and musicians, all members of the local branch of Comhaltas, to participate in the Mass. Outstanding musicians, Theresa Larkin and Mai Phelan and William Cullagh, also gave generously of their advice and expertise. The Parish Pastoral Council through its attention to organisational detail ensured that all the stops were pulled out in order to showcase the parish to good effect in the national media.
Old and New-
The ceremony will begin with a procession of celebrant, altar servers and readers. Symbols of the Parish and Comhaltas will be brought forward. Bowls of shamrock prepared by Wesley Beck will be presented for blessing. During the Mass the adult choir will sing a diverse mixture of old and new hymns- several of which will be performed in four part harmony. As this is a parish celebration, we hope that as many of the congregation as possible will join in the singing. Many of the hymns will be very familiar to the Mass-goers and as an additional help the words will be printed in the parish newsletter. For those who have family members abroad some of the words will bring added poignancy so we ask everybody to sing them with pride and gusto on our national feast-day.
Many instrumental pieces will be performed by a musical ensemble made up of piano, harps, cello, viola, violins, flutes, whistles, uileann pipes, guitar, accordions, bodhrán, pipe organ and concertina. In harmony with the choir, the excellent playing of these accomplished local musicians, which will include some modern arrangements of old Irish hymns dating back to the 18th century, will offer an extra dimension to the celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy. Indeed, Roscrea is fortunate that two of the selected pieces- the ‘Processional Commemorate’ and the Acclamation of Faith- ‘Until He Comes Again’ are original compositions by two local musicians Colm Brussels and Séamus Doran respectively. A graceful and evocative liturgical dance has been choreographed by Ciara Callanan Ryan, renowned world dancing champion. Ciara and three other young dancers will perform this artistic work during the Offertory.
Also taking part, both as singers and instrumentalists, will be many members of Junior Comhaltas Roscrea. Carol Thompson and Tadgh Maher have put much time and effort into this area and, no doubt, the youthful faces, voices and musical accomplishments of these young artists will contribute much to the visual impact of the occasion.
The Mass will be said mainly in English , but as befits St. Patrick’s Day, one of the readings, a Prayer of the Faithful, one of the hymns and the Our Father will be as Gaeilge.
Added Local Interest-
As RTÉ has extended the duration of the transmission from Roscrea from the usual 45 minutes to 1 hour it is hoped that, by way of introduction, local scenes from our historic town will be shown. Other items may include an interview with Musical Director Lucy McCarthy and shots of Junior Comhaltas practising their singing, playing and dancing for Pléaracha. Based on research by Fr. Laurence OCSO Mount. St. Joseph, a brief discourse will be given by Adrian Hewson on local legends connecting St. Patrick with the area especially the burial of his charioteer Odhrán.
Kairos Communications co-ordinator Fr. Finbarr Treacy has already paid a preliminary visit to St. Cronan’s and has been suitably impressed by the newly decorated church whose warm, mellowing internal colours will present a striking backdrop to the celebration of the Mass and will add to the visual impact on television. This will be even further enhanced after Liam Maloney and his team of flower arrangers, whose artistic efforts at Christmas time drew such favourable comment, have completed their work on the eve of the great occasion. Also, leaving nothing to chance since colour is so important in a television broadcast and helped by sponsorship from Roscrea Credit Union and Roscrea CCÉ, Deirdre Bergin and Carol Thompson have been busy colour coordinating the musicians and choirs outfits. Furthermore Michael McEvoy, in charge of keeping the large numbers of singers and musicians appraised of the times, dates and venues of practises has done a superb job in disseminating the necessary information.
Great work and much unseen preparation has been done to ensure that, beginning at 11am on St. Patrick’s Day, a moving and memorable celebration of Mass will be broadcast nationally from St. Cronan’s Church Roscrea. The people of the parish, by their attendance and participation will help to add another distinguished chapter to a very ancient local Christian tradition.