Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Oileán Mhuire

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

It is, perhaps, one of the most perfect acoustical spaces the Folk Choir has ever sung in.

It is one of Ireland's great pilgrimage points – in the sunny Southeast of Ireland, tucked away at the edge of the island.

And it is the place where the Folk Choir had the great pleasure of offering a workshop, a mass, and a glorious concert.

One of my dear friends, Fr. Michael Driscoll, once said to me "Whenever you sing in a room, the room wins."  He was commenting, of course, on acoustical design.  And one of the wonders of the parish church of Our Lady's Island is that its design is spot-on perfect: the Folk Choir, singing from the sanctuary, barely had to breathe to be heard, the room was that responsive.

The ensemble has sung in many, many venues over the past 35 years.  And it is a rare thing that I will remember the acoustics of any given place.

But not with Our Lady's Island.  This beautiful house of prayer is a gem above all others.  And even the beauty of their stained glass windows (which depict all the attributes of Our Lady found in the Litany of Loretto) combine to make the place a haven for sung prayer.

A few other bonuses for the day:  the opportunity to make a quiet, prayerful rosary pilgrimage around the perimeter of the island.  And before the sun went down, we were treated to the BEACH.  How can you beat a day like this?

We owe a huge debt of thanks to our hosts, Olga Thompson and Fr. Brendan Nolan, P.P.  Their hospitality, love of the liturgy, and advocacy of our ensemble knows no bounds!  I hope we'll be able to collaborate again with these lovely people.

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