10 Jun 2012

Opening Ceremony at IEC2012

After four years of preparation the 50th International Eucharistic Congress began under sunny skies in Dublin's RDS today with the opening ceremony and opening Mass presided over by the Papal Legate HE. Mark Cardinal Ouellett. A celebration of colour, music and solemn liturgy to begin what will be a very hectic and busy week focused on the Blessed Eucharist for catholics gathered from all over Ireland and the world.

The opening ceremony was focused around the Congress Bell which had travelled to the four corners of the country (and abroad to Rome, the UK and Lourdes) symbolising the call to gather to pray. The opening ceremony was a colourful display of the representatives of the four ecclesial provinces of Ireland (Armagh, Dublin, Cashel, Tuam) as well as a special fifth province to represent the international community represented at the Congress.

The call to assemble for each province was made by the four archbishops - Cardinal Brady, Archbishops Martin, Neary and Clifford and was a colourful stream of people bearing symbols, flag, banners and elements from the four provinces of Ireland demonstrating 1500 years of faith right up to the present day. Music and songs included the Deer's Cry arranged by Shaun Davy

The intercession of the saints of Ireland was sought and for the ecclesial province of Cashel, the women saints of Munster were highlighted in a special way including west Limerick's own St Ita. 

Following the call to gather for the first Eucharist of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress echoing the words of the Congress Hymn, the opening Mass of the Congress began with the reading of the letter of appointment of the Papal Legate by Archbishop Charles Brown (Papal nuncio to Ireland) and a response from the President of the 50th IEC 2012, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The Mass was a solemn yet joyful multi-lingual celebration with magnificent music throughout led by the Palestrina Choir from St Mary's Pro-cathedral and the IEC Choir.

Listen to the report from Vatican Radio here.

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