Advent Carol Service in St. Macartan's Cathedral, Clogher


Dean Kenneth Hall and Bishop John McDowell promoting Bird of Paradise Ministries in Rwanda.

The Clogher Diocesan Advent Carol Service took place on Sunday evening, 3rd December 2017 in St. Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher.

The service of lessons and carols marked the beginning of the season of Advent described as “under a month of restrained and prayerful preparation for the joy and jubilation of Christmas.”

The service was led by the Dean of Clogher, the Very Revd Kenneth Hall and the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd John McDowell, sang the blessing.

The Cantor, the Revd John McClenaghan, sang “A Matin Responsory” at the beginning of the service before the processional hymn.

The service, attended by clergy and lay people from throughout the diocese, took the form of seven lessons, read by representatives of various committees within the diocese. These included Rosemary Barton MLA, a member of Clogher Diocesan Council; Robert Forde, a member of the Clogher Diocesan Glebes Committee; Revd Charles Eames, from the Clogher Diocesan Board for Social Theology in Action; Brian Donaldson, representing the Clogher Diocesan Magazine Committee; Revd Phillip Bryson, from the Clogher Diocesan Youth Council; Joyce Clingen, a member of the Clogher Diocesan Board of Religious Education and Canon Maurice Armstrong, a member of Clogher Diocesan Ministry of Healing.

Enjoying a cup of tea after the service.

The organist, Diane Whittaker, and combined choirs of the Clogher Cathedral Group of Parishes, led the singing of the hymns and anthems.

The hymns were; “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” “Waken, O sleeper, wake and rise,” “The Magnificat,” “On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry,” “Make way, make way, for Christ the King;” “Hail to the Lord’s anointed” and “Lo! he comes with clouds descending.” There were two anthems; “Come, the Redeemer of the earth” and “Zion, at thy shining gates.”

The collection was taken up in aid of “Bird of Paradise Ministries” a charity registered in Northern Ireland operating in Rwanda where it provides the basic needs of shelter and care for destitute elderly people. These people had families decimated during the genocide of the mid 1990’s.

John Hull and Jack Johnston meeting after the Advent Carol Service.

“Bird of Paradise Ministries” is the initiative of Canon Jerome Munyangaju and his wife, Mary. Canon Jerome is originally from Rwanda and was rector of Killyleagh for over 10 years before returning to Rwanda. Instead of retiring, he began this new ministry when the saw the needs of elderly people.

Norma Heap and Sue Hogg enjoying a cup of tea following the Clogher Diocesan Carol Service.