A warm invitation has been extended to people throughout the city to celebrate the Advent season at Clonard.
As part of the celebrations in the run-up to Christmas the West Belfast church will open its doors to welcome families and visitors to reflect on the Gospels for Advent using prayer, art, song and videos on November 28, December 5, December 12 and December 19 from 7.30pm until 8.45pm.
Rector of Clonard Fr Noel Kehoe explained: “Advent is four weeks of waiting and hoping for Christ’s return. These coming four weeks are symbolised by the Advent calendars we use at home and the Advent wreaths in church. In the commercial Christmas rush, we can lose our sense of Advent anticipation and we can forget how to watch and wait. My hope and prayer is that we will journey together during Advent, when the monastery open its doors and welcomes you in.”
Fr Kehoe spoke of how another special event in the Clonard calendar is their annual Carol Service which takes place on Sunday, December 10 at 6pm. “This year we have primary school children from Gaelscoil na bhFál, the choir from Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, as well as Clonard’s own Choir and Folk Group. Performing for the first time this year will be the young people from Clonard Monastery Youth Club. At the end of the Carol Service, we will officially light up our outdoor Christmas tree which was introduced last year as a symbol of hope and light in the darkness.”
Visitors to Clonard are encouraged to bring a gift (preferably unwrapped) for St Vincent de Paul to deliver to those in need.
Advent evenings will take place on November 28, December 5, December 12 and December 19. All are welcome to attend.