The season of Advent has been a full one here in Clongowes, with many events in the school ranging from the Advent Service of Reconciliation by way of the joyful Christmas Lunch on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to the annual Christmas Concert last week. Yesterday the annual Carol Service provided a last hurrah as well as an opportunity to let off some steam between the end of the exams that morning and the anticipation of results.
This long-established event was organised by our Director of Liturgy, Mr Cyril Murphy (OC ’80) and Ms Liz Griffin of the Ethos Department, with considerable help from the music teachers. Following an introduction by the Assistant Headmaster, Mr Martin Wallace, the pace never flagged from the opening strains of ‘Silent Night’ to the triumphant ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ at the conclusion. The first part of the service was taken up by the Nativity Story, scripted by Tom Goodman (OC’13) and narrated by Mr Declan O’Keeffe, which included several well-known carols sung by our very own Schola Cantorum.
Other high points of the ceremony included a show stopping performance of his own ‘rap’ by Rhetoric student Jesse Onyejekwe (poignantly for the last time), Mr Chris Lumb’s ‘Christmas Cracker Grudge’ (which took three attempts before the popular result was achieved) and the perennial ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ challenge. This last – ever-popular – item on the programme adopts a ‘Battle of the Bands’ approach, assigning various groups as supporters of all the characters in the much-loved, 18th century English carol from the twelve drummers all the way down to the solitary partridge. This year the ladies of the Support Staff made off with the gong for the best contribution inspired and led by the Headmaster’s PA, Ms Irene Fitzpatrick…
When order had been restored the Rector, Fr Michael Sheil gave the final blessing before the service concluded with an exultant version of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’.
Mr Declan O’Keeffe, Head of Communications