Remember November…

Hello from a very rainy Wexford!

Our visitors may have all returned home to the States and the curtain may have fallen on the Wexford Opera Festival for the year, but Teach Bhride Wexford continues to run full-steam ahead at Clonard! The last week in particular has been full of beautiful liturgies, fun school visits, radio show recordings, fantastic choir rehearsals, and wonderful community dinners. We also celebrated Brendan’s birthday this week! The quarter-century club has gained its newest member…

One of the most exciting developments so far this year is that our Vigil Choir is swelling in number–which means we are able to start challenging ourselves with new, more advanced choral repertoire! Our first foray into more challenging sacred music will be premiered this weekend at the 6pm Vigil Mass: “Adoramus Te, Christe” the final chorus from Theodore Dubois’ cantata, The Seven Last Words of Christ (Les Sept Paroles du Christ), edited by Richard Proulx. We are so proud of the hard work the Vigil Choir has done so far this year, and we are very excited to see the choir grow, both in size and ability!

In other news, Brendan, Jena, Kristen, and I have become quite the little ensemble, and have a voracious appetite for learning new music from various genres. We have fallen in love with singing music from the Taize tradition, and have incorporated that into our annual Christian Media Trust radio show recordings, and they have enhanced our liturgies at Clonard as well. For daily Mass on All Souls Day this past Monday, we sang the chants from the ordinary of the Requiem Mass to great acclaim, and we also premiered an absolutely gorgeous choral version of the Divine Praises (composed in 2009 by Peter Romero), which we will sing for Monday morning Adoration and First Fridays throughout the rest of the year.

Speaking of All Souls Day, the month of November here in Ireland is particularly poignant, as people across the country gather to remember all their loved ones who have passed away. Clonard’s annual Parish Remembrance Service took place this past Monday, and it was a solemn, reflective, and healing liturgy, with music beautifully and prayerfully provided by Clonard’s Folk Group. As a contributor for the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy’s blog Oblation, I wrote a reflection on the month of November and the commemoration of the Holy Souls in Ireland earlier this week, if you’d like to check it out!

The rest of November will see the first of our monthly First Holy Communion Teaching Masses, the beginning of our Educate Together lessons, class Masses, our annual American Thanksgiving celebrations, a highly-anticipated visit from the Warners, and even rehearsals for our upcoming school Christmas carol services in December. I am amazed at how quickly the last two months have passed, and I couldn’t be more thrilled at how close the four of us have become as a community, and how deeply we have immersed ourselves in our roles as church musicians and catechists at Clonard!

Thinking of all our friends and family back in the States; please keep us in your prayers, as you remain always in ours! Have a great weekend, and be on the lookout for an update from our friends in Teach Bhride Dublin next week! 🙂