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Apart but in communion

Clongowes Wood College SJ has taken an innovative step forward for liturgy in the school by broadcasting a live stream of their regular Sunday Mass from the school sports hall with students from the school doing the filming.

Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes says the live Mass “will hopefully bring the entire Clongowes community including parents and alumni together to worship once again every Sunday at 11am. ”

He also says that they hope in time to invite some of their sister Jesuit colleges around the world to contribute to this liturgy via live broadcast and vis versa. Read more below from Cyril.

Alive but in Communion

Borne out of a desire to somehow continue experiencing our communal gathering for Sunday Eucharist and yet restricted to staying apart in year groups, this live Mass from the Sports Hall will hopefully bring the entire Clongowes community including parents and alumni together to worship once again every Sunday at 11am. It can be accessed on the Clongowes website here.

We have engaged expert help from Ita Callagy of Kairos Communications and Molly Molloy former producer of Religious broadcasting with RTE, and we hope to create an engaging and realistic presentation of our Eucharistic liturgy that is the Clongowes Sunday Mass as we have known it.

Since the beginning of term TY students have been trained up as cameramen! They will man 4 cameras in the Sports Hall to film the Mass themselves every Sunday. A pared-down Schola Cantorum of just 6 voices – socially distanced – leads us in our albeit muted sung liturgy. Our newly commissioned Eucharistic Ministers are on hand to ensure everything happens smoothly and with great reverence.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we can only safely accommodate one year group at our Sunday Eucharist, so the live broadcast will be beamed into 5 other venues around the Clongowes campus where each year will have assembled.

The participation of those not present in the Sports Hall but watching on screens will be augmented on occasion by having one of the readings read by a student in another venue and beamed back into the Sports hall where the main Eucharistic liturgy will be celebrated.

The Eucharistic Ministers will leave the Sports Hall at Communion and go to these different centres to give communion to their peers. So whilst apart, we will still be importantly in communion!

We hope to develop this in time to invite some of our sister Jesuit colleges around the world to contribute to our liturgy via live broadcast and vis versa – they are experiencing the same difficulties as us so wouldn’t it be amazing to connect liturgically across the globe to some of our sister Jesuit schools?

It’s a big technical and logistical challenge for us, but we look forward to you joining us this Sunday and for the Sundays to come. We hope this new liturgical initiative will in time bear great fruit in bringing the Clongowes diaspora together to worship, in a unique and prayerful way every Sunday.

Cyril Murphy
Director of Liturgy, Clongowes Wood College SJ