THE MASS WITH A DIFFERENCE THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
every Sunday at 7.30 pm
The parish hosts the Gospel Choir Mass, which happens every Sunday at 7.30 pm from mid-September to mid-June. All welcome - join us and experience a different kind of liturgy with a full Gospel Choir and band as well as opportunities during the Mass for a quieter space for silent prayer and meditation.
Musical Director: Mr Aidan Greene; any enquiries regarding the choir - phone him on 086 3775869 or
Other enquiries to Fr Donal Neary SJ PP at 8363411.
Please also refer to their website: www.gardinerstreetgospelchoir.com
BEGINNINGS MAY 2000
When Kevin Kelly first suggested the idea of a gospel choir, which would sing at mass each Sunday, Edmond Grace, the pastoral director at the time had to try it. Kevin was the organist in Gardiner Street and - from head chorister of the Palestrina Choir to lead singer in a rock group with a weekly gig at the Brazen Head - he had wide performing experience. But what won Edmond over was Kevin’s enthusiasm - as well as their friendship which had been growing for over three years.
The very first meeting of choir was on 22 March 2000. After an informal social gathering in the choir room, they were brought up to the fully lit, but empty, church. It’s a historic building, not because 'great' events have happened there, but because for almost two hundred years ordinary people have come through the doors with their pain and their hope.
Appropriately enough, the gospel choir includes among its members, people from nearby and elsewhere who have strong family links with Gardiner Street. They also reflect Dublin as it is today, coming from diverse backgrounds in Ireland and elsewhere.
The first Gardiner Street Gospel Choir Mass took place on 7 May, 2000 with two keyboards and sixteen singers - twelve female and four male. The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir Mass marks the opening of a new chapter in the story of St. Francis Xavier's church in Gardiner Street. This story is part of Dublin's heritage, probably since the laying of the foundation stone in 1829. So what is this new chapter about?...
The choir now under the musical direction of Aidan Greene, is still spreading the good news as far and as wide as possible. Over the last two years, the choir and band have played in various venues ranging from schools for disabled children, prisons, charity events, as well as the weekly mass in Gardiner Street.
The energy and spirit which exudes from their performances is truly amazing. Every Sunday over 40 people take the time out of their own lives to worship, sing and rejoice as part of the choir and band, a group of truly inspirational people whose love of music and each other helps to make the Gardiner Street gospel choir mass what it is.
For anyone who walks in off the street, one thing will be self-evident: this is a celebration. The Choir and the music play a vital role but everyone agrees that there is something more. The tone is set each Sunday before mass, when our 'Gospel Gazette' is handed out.
At the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir Mass people gather to celebrate their faith in Christ and they do so with an energy which inspires those who do not share that faith - and those who doubt - to come and join in. The keystone of the Gospel Choir Mass is contented faith in Christ.
The emphasis of the mass is to gather people together and let them discuss, contemplate and rejoice and to be able to ask questions about their lives, faith and love. Without the people there would be nobody truly at home, nobody to listen and, ultimately, no welcome and no happy gathering. The happiness is real. May it flourish!