Annual Upperchurch Christmas Night Hike
The now annual festive ‘Christmas Night Hike’ will take place once again this year in Upperchurch, Thurles, Co Tipperary, on this coming Sunday evening, (Dec. 21st) next.
This most enjoyable of annual events will start from the Community Centre in the village, beginning at at 6.30 p.m. sharp and registration prior to this walk is €5 for adults with children free.
Please do note the earlier than usual starting time this year, with the hike taking to the Knockalough trail, thus ensuring that the ground under foot remains reasonably dry.
Expect the usual Christmas seasonal prayers, readings, carols and reflections, so much enjoyed in previous years, with the usual festive fare supplied for inner warmth.
Complimentary tea and sandwiches will also be available in the hall afterwards, followed by some seasonal festivity later, supplied as always by the local hostelries located in this most picturesque of upland Tipperary villages.
Awaiting the coming of the Christ Child – Cathedral of The Assumption, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
A new nativity crib, representing a scene from the birth of Jesus and as described in the gospel of St Luke, was fully unveiled in the Cathedral of The Assumption, here in Thurles, this week.
This seasonal Christmas manger scene, or ‘crib,’ (latter the more common description for this annual Christian setting) typically displays Mary and Joseph, the Magi, the shepherds, sheep, a donkey and an ox; latter positioned in or near a beautifully designed old barn structure.
Of course Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first living nativity scene as far back as 1223, intending to further cultivate and celebrate the birth of Christ. It is understood the Saint was inspired by a visit to the Holy Land himself, where he had visited Jesus’ traditional birthplace in Bethlehem. This scene then inspired other Christian communities to stage similar nativity scenes throughout the Christian world.
Credit and congratulations on the design of this new nativity scene must go jointly to Mr Pierce Murphy, Mr Dan Kennedy, Mr Con Kennedy (Lighting), Ms Moireann O’Neill, Rev Fr Gerry Hennessey and Rev Fr Martin Hayes, who were all involved in this truly artistic creation.
If you don’t get a chance to visit this life size nativity scene over the next few days, do remember the Cathedral of The Assumption’s annual Carol Service is taking place at 7.00pm sharp on Sunday next (December 21st 2014), thus giving you a chance to view this Christmas manger scene.
This latter event will this year feature carols sung by the Cathedral Choir, the Cathedral Youth Folk Group and the Bohernanave Choir, in this all parish seasonal event, which from past experience is never to be missed.
Carols by Candlelight
“Carols by Candlelight,” the now long established ecumenical service of Christmas Carols by candlelight, returns to St Mary’s Church, Thurles, Co Tipperary this year, on Sunday next December 14th at 8.00pm sharp.
As special guests this year the St Mary’s Church of Ireland community welcome back singers and former Rock Band members “Cephas,” (Featuring Noreen, Edward (Ned) and John J. Cullinane), together with Thurles Town’s much loved tenor Mr Michael Molumby and Miss Rachel Willoughby; all under the superb musical direction of well known accomplished organist Ms Geraldine Delaney.
Of course the original idea of Carols by Candlelight first originated in south-eastern Australia, sometime in the 19th century, and was popularised in Melbourne in 1937. The tradition has since spread around the world and involves people gathering to sing carols by candlelight, accompanied usually by a band. Indeed one of the earliest forms of Carols by Candlelight began when Cornish Miners in Moonta, South Australia gathered on Christmas Eve to sing carols, lit with candles stuck to the brims of their safety helmets.
Amongst those taking part at this year’s event in Thurles will be community leaders; Mr Seamus Hanafin (Tipperary Co Councillor), Ms Joan Pollard Carew (Local published Poet), Mr John O’Shaughnessy (President Thurles Chamber), Mrs Lila Stanley (St Mary’s Church Restoration member) and Christopher J. Verling, (Rep. An Garda Síochána).
This years seated ecumenical service will be conducted by the Rev Ian Coulter, presently acting Rector of St Mary’s Church Thurles and Rev Fr Thomas Dunne, Cathedral of The Assumption, Thurles. All are invited to attend.
Note: Elderly persons are advised to attend this Christmas event early, thus ensuring seated accommodation.
The usual cup of Tea and a Biscuit or two will be provided after this Christmas event, thus enabling all those attending to “halt awhile” and chat.
Admission is free; however a charity collection will be taken up during the service.
Ecumenical Solemn Commemoration Service on the Centenary of the outbreak of WW1
“If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”
( Extract from the poem ‘In Flanders Fields,’ by Canadian Physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.)
“And the band plays Waltzing Matilda, and the old men still answer the call,
but year after year, their numbers get fewer; someday, no one will march there at all.”
( Extract from the song ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda,’ written by Eric Bogle.)
At the very least, some 75 soldiers and their officers from Thurles and its immediate environs, saw fit to enlist in the British Army, fought and died bravely between 1914 to 1918, and indeed even later, from wounds received, after that ” war to end all wars” period of our history.
Tomorrow night (October 28th 2014) in St Mary’s Church, here in Thurles, an Ecumenical Solemn Commemoration Service on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War (WWI) will be held, beginning at 7.30pm sharp, to which all are invited to attend. The service of Prayer, Music and Poetry will be conducted jointly by clergy representing both traditions of the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland communities, led by Rev. Ian Coulter.
Music for the event will be provided by renowned local pianist M/s Mary Rose McNally, with special guest; composer, guitarist and much-loved folk singer M/s Nora Fogarty. Retired former aide-de-camp to H.E. the President of Ireland and Co Galway native, Commandant Michael Walsh, will give the commemorative address, with a poetry reading by Mr Shane Willoughby.
Names Of Known Thurles Area Officers and Men Who Died In and Following WW1
(Our thanks to published author Mr Tom Burnell for his research.)
Anderson John, Armstrong William Maurice (Capt) M.C., Beirne John, Bermingham Patrick, Bourke James, Brett Timothy, Butler John, Byrne Patrick, Carroll Martin, Carroll Thomas, Carty John, Cassidy John, Cleary Joseph, Cleary Patrick, Cleary Thomas, Coady Edward, Coady Joseph, Coady Richard, Coffey Michael, Cooke Henry F, Cooney David,Cummins John, Conway Denis, Cunningham John V.C., Cunningham Patrick, Cusack Oliver, Dea Patrick, Dwyer Cornelius, Egan Martin, Fitzpatrick Joseph, Gouldsborough Patrick, Griffin Thomas, Hackett Martin, Hanrahan Daniel, Hayes Daniel, Hayes Thomas, Hennessey Thomas, Horan Joseph, Jordan Denis, Kelly James, Kelly William, Kennedy, Matthew, Kiely Owen, Knox Hubert Lt Col., Knox William Lt Col., Lawyer Joseph, Maher Frank, Maher James, Maher James Bernard, Maher John, McCormack Francis, McCormack Thomas, McLoughlin James J, Meany James, Mockler Patrick, Moyler George, O’Brien Lawrence, O’Grady Patrick, O’Shea John, Power Michael, Purcell Philip, Quinlan Joseph, Ryan Andrew, Ryan James, Ryan John, Ryan Martin, Ryan Michael, Ryan Patrick, Scally Patrick, Shields Matthew, Stapleton John, Sullivan Patrick, Terry Timothy, Walsh James.
A ‘Cross of Sacrifice’ was erected in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, earlier this year, to coincide with the centenary of the beginning of World War One and in particular to commemorate the many thousands of Irish soldiers nationally who lost their lives as a result of both World War One and World War Two.
In his speech at the dedication and unveiling of this ‘Cross of Sacrifice,’ on Thursday, July 31st 2014, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins stated; “We cannot give back their lives to the dead, nor whole bodies to those who were wounded, or repair the grief, undo the disrespect that was sometimes shown to those who fought or their families. But we honour them all now, even if at a distance, and we do not ask, nor would it be appropriate to interrogate, their reasons for enlisting.
To all of them in their silence we offer our own silence, without judgement, and with respect for their ideals, as they knew them, and for the humanity they expressed towards each other. And we offer our sorrow too that they and their families were not given the compassion and the understanding over the decades that they should have received.
Let us now, together, cultivate memory as a tool for the living and as a sure base for the future – memory employed in the task of building peace.”
Military personnel in particular, community elected representatives and indeed all residents of the town of Thurles are invited to attend and the short Commemoration Service will be followed by a cup of tea and some seasonal “buttered bairín breac,” plus the chance to view a rare display of primary source WWI artefacts’ pertinent to Tipperary and indeed to Thurles.
Admission is free, however a collection will be made during the service with proceeds going to the upgrading of St Mary’s War Museum. (Latter presently under re-construction and due to be reopened as a local tourist attraction on May 1st 2015 next.)
‘Come ye thankful people come, raise the songs of harvest home.
All is safely gathered in ere the winter storms begin.’
The 2014 annual Thurles ‘Harvest Thanksgiving Service’ will take place this year in St Mary’s Church (C of I) Thurles on Sunday night next, (October 19th) at 7.00pm sharp.
Harvest services in all Christian churches here in Co. Tipperary usually take place in the evening time during the months of September and October. Church of Ireland churches lend themselves to being atmospherically lit and decorated with seasonal produce; taken from private gardens, orchards and fields of agriculture.
Such decorations usually consist of apples, pears, courgettes, pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, cabbages, sugar beet and arrays of garden flowers together with a sheaf or two of corn, latter tied together in the old fashioned ways of grain harvesting.
Harvest Thanksgiving Services have long held historical rural roots in all Christian religions, with prayers of thanks offered to our Creator, once the hard work of harvesting has been completed and same is always experienced, by those attending, as being of a most joyous and uplifting occasion. Same is possibly brought about because of the choice of those wonderful Victorian hymns sung at these events, such as “We plough the fields and scatter,” “Come ye thankful people, come” and “All things bright and beautiful,” performed at very few other times during the churches calendar year.
In past years, following such services, all fruits and vegetables were donated to old folks homes, orphanages and workhouses etc., but this practice is rarely the case today as many such institutions have their food menus already pre-planned in advance and same is therefore more trouble than it is worth for them to accept.
This year’s Thurles Harvest Thanksgiving Service, on Sunday October 19th, will be conducted by acting Thurles Rector Rev. Ian Coulter, while the special guest speaker will be Co. Waterford Curate, Rev. Jim Wallace.
St Mary’s Church Thurles are happy, as always, to welcome back again all Christians of all denominations to this most ecumenical of thanksgiving services, with the customary cup of ‘tea and a biscuit’ shared with all in attendance following the service.
Note: Based on previous attendances to such thanksgiving events in St Mary’s; elderly people are advised to come a little early thus, ensuring that same are not left standing, due to limited space within the small church building.