Over 100 singers and musicians from around the country attended the 50th Annual Irish Church Music Association’s summer school in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, last week on the theme ‘Rejoice and Sing’.
This year the Irish Church Music Association’s 50th summer school was preceded by a two-day jubilee conference being held in partnership with the National Centre for Liturgy.
This special conference, reflected on how music in the liturgy has changed over the past 50 years, and how it has evolved in practice within parishes throughout the country since Vatican II.
Speaking as the jubilee conference opened, chair-person of ICMA Fr Turlough Baxter said: “2019 is a particularly exciting time for the Irish Church Music Association marking 50 years of our annual summer school.
Our success to date is drawn from the association being a family of people involved in music throughout the country – women and men who are deeply dedicated to the enrichment of parish liturgies.
“All of us in the association draw strength from coming together and by sharing our skills and Faith.”
Armagh’s Archbishop Eamon Martin also participated and celebrated evening Mass, signifying the closing liturgy of the conference, and the opening of the summer school.
“Dear brothers and sisters in the Irish Church Music Association. You exercise such an important ministry in your parishes and dioceses by bringing your gifts to ensure that sacred music of beauty and quality continues to be composed, taught, learned, shared and performed in Ireland to the praise of God. You know that the music we choose, the quality of our singing and our playing must be ‘prayer-ful’ and befitting of worship, capable of lifting people up from much of what is banal and shallow around us so that we can touch the mystery of the presence of God,” he said at the Mass.
“You know that when music of beauty is chosen, which is inspired by our Faith, and is offered to God from the very best of our efforts, God can work through it to inspire the souls of others, nourish their Faith and bring them closer to him.”