Meeting for praise and worship

Meeting for praise and worship
Mags Gargan visits the Living Water young adult Charismatic prayer group

Every Wednesday night as the shops on Dublin’s nearby Grafton Street begin to close their shutters and office workers met up for after work drinks or dinner, a group of young people are gathering at St Teresa’s church, Clarendon Street for praise and worship.

Living Water is a young adult Charismatic prayer group that meets weekly at the city centre church that mixes live music, prayer, talks and scripture discussions, all within a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

The evening The Irish Catholic drops in the group were hosting their first ‘Life in the Spirit’ seminar series called Transformer. This is an eight-week course for young adults running every Wednesday at 7pm in the Edith Stein Room at St Teresa’s Church. Over 100 people turned up for the evening, packing out the room and filling the streets below with the sound of an upbeat celebration of faith.

“Each week of Transformer we have a different topic or theme,” explains Jennifer Bright, one of the organisers. “We have a group of experienced people coming in and they will pray with you and if you choose to, you will receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a very powerful and beautiful way. It is very much about educating people about what the Holy Spirit is and how he works in our lives and allowing people to experience that.


“The idea is that it is for anybody who has no experience of God in their lives and it is very much a journey for eight weeks. But for somebody who is practising already it would be lovely to come at any point throughout it. The reason why we encourage new people to come is because we will have a share group where we break people up, so they will get to know other people in their faith. We feel fellowship is very important.”

Jennifer joined the Living Water community two years ago when she says she was looking for something more.

“I was already part of Youth 2000, Pure in Heart and I would have gone to a lot of different groups. But I felt like I was looking for something else. I love music, and Cormac – one of the founding members – said this might be something that I would enjoy,” she says.

Jennifer had not really experienced praise and worship before and she says that she felt like “I had come alive”. “The pure joy of singing praise and worship songs and giving thanks to God really awoke something beautiful. I was always a practising Catholic and went to Mass, but there was something different about giving thanks to God. The trust in my relationship with God became deeper. I felt like there was nothing he wouldn’t do for me and I felt this complete sense of peace in my heart. As I gave thanks this grew in me and my strength in faith grew.”

Living Water began about three years ago, when members would meet in each other’s houses. When the numbers grew they moved to Clarendon Street and they have built a relationship with the Carmelite community there who provide them with Mass or Confession when needed. There are now about 40-50 members who meet for the regular weekly prayer group, and their focus is very much on thanksgiving and sharing the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

“We are a very close knit group,” Jennifer says. “It’s a like a family. It is a lovely community and I feel that we always have each other to turn to and pray with. I feel very blessed to have everybody in my life.”

Living Water has a huge emphasis on welcome, with members offering tea and chatting to new arrivals, making sure no one is left standing alone. Anyone who misses out on the Life in the Spirit series can still attend the weekly prayer meetings to get a taste for praise and worship.


Why did you join Living Water?

“I heard about Living Water through word of mouth over a year ago. I liked the idea of praise and worship. Sometimes you need that side of spirituality. I also like the fellowship or friendship. It is good to punctuate each week with a little bit of praise and music, but the underpinning of my faith would still be going to Mass, Rosary and Confession. We are meant to be an expression of the life of Christ, so somehow or other we have to express that life within us through prayer and praise.”


“I was in Medjugorje and I meet Ronan, one of the founding members. I told him I was looking for somewhere to go regularly every week to meet like-minded people and pray. So he suggested coming along to Living Water. That was in September and I have been coming every week since. They have really helped me. I think the people are really friendly. You are always made to feel welcome. You are never left standing on your own; someone will always come over to talk to you. Also I feel it is really well-run. The music is fantastic and the talks are good. I feel every week that I go I get what I need from them. After we have tea and it’s good to talk to other like-minded Catholics that you wouldn’t find in your everyday life. It is a vibrant community.”


“I heard about it from Pure in Heart and a few members of the community come here. What I enjoy the most about Living Water, apart from the prayer and worship, is the openness of the people to receiving you and making you feel welcome. It is wonderful to feel that sense of community and friendship.”