The annual Galway Solemn Novena makes its return from Monday 19th February and will run until Tuesday 27th February at the Galway Cathedral. Now in its 36th year, this year’s Novena will reflect on the central importance of family and home.
More than 10,000 worshipers are expected to visit the Cathedral this year, with over 300 volunteers, 62 hymns, and a Redemptorist team of twelve to help the Cathedral staff.
Preachers for the Novena will include three team couples from the pre-marriage weekends in Esker who will speak at the Sunday masses on the topic, “You Married Me”. The Novena will also begin a nightly candlelight mass with Taizé hymns at each 9pm session, finishing each day of the sessions with calm and tranquil reflection.
The hymns on the playlist for 2018 will be performed by Galway Cathedral Organists and cantors from the Redemptorist Novena team. At each of the two late night sessions there will be live music.
All collections from the Thursday 22nd February masses will be donated to Galway Hospice, Irish Guide Dogs and SERVE.
Week day Mass times are at 7:45am, 11am, 1:10pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm, 9pm and mass will be said at 9am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm and 8pm on Sunday. Children will be blessed at all sessions on the Sunday 25th. Mass and anointing of the sick is on Saturday 24th at 11am.
Candlelight meditation sessions will take place at 10pm on Wednesday 21st and Monday 26th and last about an hour.
Novena Director Fr Brendan O’Rourke commented on some of the main themes: “We come to learn who we are in the homes of our lives, and from there we get the energy to move out and fly. The Novena asks us, who is lost in our lives, in our family, among our circle of friends? Can we offer home to someone who is lost?
“We reflect on the importance of friendship, the gift of presence. Am I trustworthy? Truthful? Faithful? Ready to say ‘sorry’ and ‘I forgive you’?
“Love is like salt. It lends flavour when things are bland. It gives traction when the road is icy. It cleans out wounds, allowing healing to start. Love is a decision, and we get better as we practice it. When we hurt or are hurt and then seek and offer forgiveness – that’s a glimpse of the divine.”
The Galway Solemn Novena is a celebration of prayer and faith. All are welcome.