Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin has launched a new setting of the Mass by Kildare composer Padraig Meredith. The Mass was launched in Saint Conleth’s Parish Church, Newbridge, in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin on Sunday 26 February.
Padraig Meredith is a composer from Newbridge, Co Kildare who specialises in liturgical music. His new setting of the Mass is entitled Mass of the People and it was performed for the first time on Sunday by Newbridge choir In Caelo under the baton of Cora Coffey, Musical Director.
The Mass of the People includes new settings of the pieces sung/spoken at every Mass – the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Gospel Acclamation, the Holy Holy, the Memorial Acclamation, the Doxology & Great Amen, and the Lamb of God. The Mass will also feature two additional pieces by Padraig including the first performance by the Fox sisters of a new psalm entitled In God Alone and the Communion hymn Our Blessing Cup performed by soloist Teresa Lynch.
Speaking at Sunday’s Mass, Bishop Nulty said, “Music is a central element of our Catholic worship. In fact it is an integral element of most faiths. We give thanks and praise to God through our music and it reveals the truths of our faith.
“Instrumental music can express both our human emotions before God and God’s healing presence to us in a way that no other medium can. There is nothing to equal the oboe, the harp and the flute during an offertory procession. There is equally nothing more beautiful than to hear a choir like In Caelo who have been rehearsing these new Mass parts for weeks.
“I think it’s great to have a new Mass setting. Music selections need to serve and enhance our prayer and Padraig’s new melodies do just that. I thank Padraig, Cora and In Caelo for their prayerful expression today of the Mass of the People.”
Composer Padraig Meredith said, “Our parish church is a place of welcome, light, warmth, and heart. My Mass setting tries to capture the various moods of the Church calendar. Each piece has a separate character which matches the tone of that moment in the liturgy where it is placed. The Mass setting tried to achieve a goal of being inclusive for all the congregation by (hopefully) being ‘singable’ by everyone. Hopefully the congregation will leave the liturgy happy and humming!
“The setting is called Mass of the People because it is a gift not just for In Caelo, but for all the parishioners of Newbridge.”
Father Paul Dempsey, Parish Priest of Saint Conleth’s Parish, Newbridge, said, “As the Church faces many challenges in a changed and changing culture, many people drift along as many familiar anchors in society have disappeared. As a Church we must respond by inviting people to participate in the liturgy – a liturgy that is vibrant, joyful and well prepared, a liturgy that will touch people’s hearts and help them experience the deep love of Jesus Christ. Good music is critical to this and contributes to the Eucharist being the ‘summit and source’ of the Church’s life. Through his new Mass setting, Mass of the People, Padraig is making a major contribution to the life of the Church in Ireland today. I wish him every blessing and thank him for sharing his gifts so generously with us here in Saint Conleth’s Parish.”
In Caelo is one of the parish choirs in Saint Conleth’s Parish in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. The choir has been in existence for almost 20 years. The choir of 44 members comprises men and women from Newbridge and surrounding areas. ‘In Caelo’ is a four part harmony choir and they sing at the 12.30pm Mass in St Conleth’s Parish church every second Sunday.
For more see www.newbridgeparish.ie.
Click below to listen to the Gloria from Mass of the People performed by In Caelo:
Pictured at the launch of the Mass are: Bishop Denis Nulty, Ms Cora Coffey (Musical Director), Padraig Meredith (Composer) and Father Paul Dempsey, PP Newbridge, Co Kildare.