During the month of November, the Online Gospel Mass featuring the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir is offering an opportunity for people to remember their loved ones who have died.
They are asking people who attend the Online Gospel Mass each Sunday at 7.30 pm to send in a photo of their friend, family member, or relative who has died and the photo will be incorporated into the Online Gospel Mass along with prayers for those who have passed away.
James Hutchinson, the choir’s online producer asks that along with a photo people also include the name, date of birth, and the date of passing of their loved one.
“Details can be sent to [email protected] and ideally a headshot photo would be best if possible.”
Since the first lockdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gardiner Street Gospel Choir have transformed their unique Gospel Mass into an interactive online experience. They combine their gospel music with a live celebrant, readers, and a live virtual congregation.
James says “we wanted to build something more than a webcam stuck at the back of a church so in response to the Covid-19 pandemic the choir has been busy rebuilding the unique Mass into an enjoyable online experience. We wanted it to be personable and interactive, so our celebrants are up close and engaging, our virtual congregation means that those participating can interact with the priest celebrating the mass. And with the inclusion vibrant music from the gospel choir it has been a great success.”
In order to get the most out of the Online Gospel Mass, he invites people to join their Facebook group where they can get access to the lyrics of the songs they sing, along with the readings for the day and other content. The Mass itself is streamed live over Facebook and can be viewed on the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir’s Facebook page.
The Gardiner Street Gospel choir was set up in March 2000 by Kevin Kelly to encourage young people to return to Mass and to make the Mass a more joyful and meaningful experience for all. It quickly attracted a large following and the choir developed a reputation which it holds to this day for “lively and inspiring performances, spreading infectious joy and a meaningful message through the music they perform.”
James adds that for years the Gospel Choir Mass in Gardiner Street has attracted a diverse and global congregation. “Regardless of religious beliefs or sexual orientation, everyone is always welcome.”
He says that people take part in the Mass for a variety of reasons, obviously for the music but also for the thought-provoking homilies or just to take quiet time out. “These are tough and challenging times, people may be anxious or lonely. And this November may be even harder than usual for people. So it’s good to remember our loved ones and feel them close to us and what better way to do that than with music and prayer.”