Papal choir gears up for the big day at Papal Mass

Papal choir gears up for the big day at Papal Mass
WMOF 2018


More than 2,000 singers from across Ireland gathered in the RDS to do a full run through of the music for the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families.

With the WMOF only weeks away, the massive chorus is gearing up for the real deal on August 26 when they sing in the Phoenix Park.

In total, 3,000 voices from across all 26 dioceses will make up the main choir, and many more will contribute to the congregational singing with their own parish choirs in the corrals spread across the Phoenix Park.

Individuals and choirs have been rehearsing together locally in their dioceses for a number of months but this was the first time that the countrywide group was brought together.

Commenting after the rehearsal the Liturgical Music Director, Derek Mahady, said that he was heartened by the work and effort that each diocese has put into the preparation of the music for the papal Mass. The full music team includes:

-Derek Mahady as Liturgical Music Coordinator.

-Dr John O’Keeffe as Conductor of the Core Choir and Orchestra.

-David Grealy as Organist.

-Amy Ryan and Dominic Finn as Assistant Conductors of the Massed Choir.

The music chosen for the Papal Mass will place an emphasis on congregational singing, so many of the pieces will be familiar to those in the Phoenix Park congregation of 500,000.

Irish music and composers feature prominently throughout the Mass. The Opening Hymn is A Joy For All The Earth which is the official hymn for WMOF, written by Ephrem Feeley. Well-known liturgical composer Fr Liam Lawton has composed a new Psalm for the Mass which is called The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor.


Two pieces by Seán Ó Riada feature as the Penitential Rite/Kyrie (A Thiarna Déan Trócaire), and at the Lord’s Prayer (Ár nAthair). Fintan O’Carroll’s Celtic Alleluia with an enhanced verse by Ronan McDonagh will be sung as the Gospel acclamation.

The Apostles’ Creed will be John O’Keeffe’s own composition, while Fr Pat Ahern’s A Thiarna Éist Linn will be sung between the Prayers of the Faithful.

A number of international music will feature in the Mass including Caritas et Amor by Z. Randall Stroope, which has been chosen for the Presentation of Gifts, and a three-piece from Jean-Paul Lécot’s Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes will feature as the Gloria, Sanctus and Doxology/Amen.

The Communion hymns will be Ave Verum (William Byrd), The Last Supper (Bernard Sexton), Come Feast at this Table (Ian Callanan), Anima Christi (Mon. Marco Frisina) and Bí Íosa im Chroíse.

And finally, the Anthem to Our Lady will be Go mBeannaítear Duit, A Mhuire by Peadar Ó Riada (son of Seán), and the Recessional hymn will be Jesus Christ, You Are My Life by Msgr Marco Frisina.