On Sunday, September 18th, 2011, we had the lovely experience of hearing the Kilkenny Gospel Choir in our chapel.
Ably conducted by their leader, Fr Willie Purcell, the group sang some well known and not so well known hymns. Some were from the Negro tradition, songs of hope in a time of cruelty, some more recent, all with a sense of the divine. Fr Willie gave a little introduction to each of the melodies which enhanced our appreciation. The choir, mostly women, sang from their hearts and gathered us into their music.
Our lovely chapel, at the hour of Vespers, with the evening light streaming through the windows, was an ideal setting for the choir who also prayed for missionaries and for the world in between the hymns. It was an uplifting hour. We all benefited from their presence among us.
Afterwards the choir joined us for a delicious supper in our dining room where we mingled with the singers. With regular practice and an expanding repertoire, it takes a determined commitment to belong to the Gospel Choir. But the enthusiasm and delight of the members, their love of singing, told its own story; all were very dedicated and enriched by the experience.
We have Sister Nina Murphy, herself a Kilkenny woman, to thank for this lovely evening. Of course she came with the choir, one of whom is her niece. Thank you, Nina.
Who knows, after this evening’s inspiration, we may one day start our own little Gospel Choir here in Magheramore!