THE official opening and blessing of the new choir gallery at the Church of the Assumption in Castledermot was held on Sunday 20 October at 11am Mass.
Fr Aidan Kieran explained that the church previously had three galleries, which were taken down, and the project to erect a new gallery had been on the agenda for a number of years, since before he arrived in the parish just over two years ago in September 2017.
He agreed that it was a project driven by parishioners and members of the community, with the parish choir – which sings in the church at 11 o’clock Mass on Sundays and is under the directorship of Carol Dempsey – a substantial part of it. Fundraising endeavours included a carol service in the church last December, an event that featured special guest choirs from Scoil Diarmada and Coláiste Lorcáin. “They did a lot of the fundraising for it,” he remarked.
The choir was among those who attended the official opening last month, alongside local man and country singer Michael English who sang the Our Father. “He usually comes every year for the Christmas Eve Mass and he sings the Our Father at that,” Fr Kieran said, adding that there was a very big crowd in the church that day. “He sang the Our Father at this Mass as well. That was really nice.”
Fr Kieran also noted that one concern some people would have had was that the gallery might somehow obscure the view of the beautiful stained glass window at the end of the church. However such fears have been allayed – the gallery is a wonderful addition that you might say adds to rather than takes away from that feature.
“In fact, it almost acts like a photo frame… it sets it off really well actually, I think,” Fr Kieran said. “It’s lovely.”