Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Christmas Carol Service, which is taking place over the next three nights in Maynooth College Chapel, with newly commissioned seasonal music.
Four choirs will participate in this year’s Carol Service – the Maynooth University Choral Society and the Seminary Choir, both conducted by Dr John O’Keeffe; the Maynooth University Chamber Choir conducted by Ruaidhrí Ó Dálaigh and the Schola Gregoriana directed by Dr Darina McCarthy.
To mark the golden jubilee of the Carol Service, a new carol, In the Stillness of the Night has been commissioned from Dr Edward Holden, lecturer in liturgical composition at St Patrick’s College.
This year’s Carol Service coincides with the 225th anniversary of the founding of St Patrick’s College. To herald this milestone, a special fanfare for the Adeste Fideles, commissioned from Dr Ryan Molloy of the Maynooth University Music Department, will be performed for the first time on the opening night.
Each attendee at this year’s Carol Service will receive a bookmark to commemorate the Maynooth 225th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the carol service. On the bookmark is an Irish poem Cuireadh oileánach do Mhuire (An Islander’s Invitation to Mary) written by Mártín Ó Díreáin, with a specially commissioned translation from the Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages at Maynooth University, An tAthair Breandán Ó Doibhlin. This poem has been put to music by Ronan McDonagh and will be sung by combined choirs during this year’s Carol Service.
Lyric FM will record the Carol Service on Tuesday night which will feature some of the original founding members of the carol service and choral society. Some of the carols from Maynooth will be broadcast over the Christmas season on Lyric FM, giving listeners a chance to be part of one of the most widely appreciated events in the Christmas calendar.