On the evening of Wednesday, September 21st, the annual Mass Celebrating Young People was held in St. Nicholas Church, Carrick-on-Suir. An explosion of youthful enthusiasm, chaos, prayer, celebration and, on the part of the organizers – the Youth Liturgy Committee – not a little sweat.
The church was packed, with young people, especially those from the various clubs in their uniforms, and their parents and minders, and a goodly crowd of unattached adults. The Mass was concelebrated by Parish Priest, Fr. Edmund Cullinan, Fr. Richard Geoghegan, and the neighbouring Parish Priest, Fr. Pat Gear.
The entrance procession resembled much more a crowd pushing its way into Croke Park than an orderly liturgical procession, with banners aloft, flags flying, and pushing to find a place in an already fairly packed church.
They mimed , they sang, they clapped,they read (in four languages), they shook hands, they were blessed with water from the river Jordan, they brought the bread and wine to the altar in a aisle-length procession, they distributed communion. And then, when Mass was over they listened in rapt attention to the dulcet tones of Micheal O Muircheartaigh, who captured them all with his homely and telling words.
In these times of Sunday churches bereft of young people the experience of five hundred and fifty people enthusiastically participating in a very impressive and prayerful liturgy should surely count for something. At least many of the adults present thought so, if their comments afterwards are anything to go by: ‘an extraordinary experience’, ‘a most moving occasion’, ‘a really prayerful event’; Micheal thought it one of the most extraordinary Masses he ever attended.
Well done to everyone who helped with this great celebration.