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Hundreds expected at Derrynaflan dawn Mass

By Sean Ryan - 05 April, 2015

DerrynaflanHundreds of people from all over Ireland will come together today for the annual Easter Sunday Dawn Mass on Derrynaflan Island near Littleton in County Tipperary.

The island is in the bog of Lurgoe and was made famous by the discovery of the Derrynaflan Chalice and hoard.

The chalice, which dates from the 9th century AD, was discovered in 1980 in a hoard of ecclesiastical silver within the precinct of the ancient monastery.

The lavishly ornamented Eucharistic chalice is, like the famous Ardagh Chalice, a ministral chalice, intended for dispensing the communion wine to the congregation.

The Derrynaflan Chalice and hoard was apparently concealed for safety during a time of major danger and they are now all housed in the National Museum in Dublin.

Weather conditions are forecast to be favourable for the 6.30am celebration that includes the lighting and blessing of the Paschal fire, the blessing and sprinkling of Easter water, and the renewal of baptismal vows.

Another special feature of the ceremony will the musical contribution of secondary school students from Scoil Ruain in Killenaule.

Speaking to CatholicIreland.net, former PP Canon Liam Ryan said he has always been “delighted” with the turnout in Derrynaflan on Easter Sunday which this year is in its 13th year.

“People have been coming here to celebrate Easter year after year. They love to come here at dawn and celebrate Mass at this very special time of year. Derrynaflan has always looked magnificent under the lights kindly provided by our good friend Dick Boland, and what a spectacular scene the island provides at daybreak.”

He added, “The Derrynaflan Mass is a very special part of our Holy Week liturgy in the parish of Killenaule and Moyglass, and we are looking forward to another beautiful liturgical celebration on one of the world’s most famous monastic sites.”

Canon Liam thanked everybody for their assistance in making final arrangements for the celebration of the Mass.

“I’m deeply grateful for the help received from so many people, their hard work and generosity has ensured that all is in readiness for the lovely dawn ceremony,” he said.

As well as Canon Ryan, this year’s Mass will be celebrated by the current Parish priest of Killenaule Moyglass, Fr Jimmy O’Donnell, as well as the parish priest of the nearby Parish of Moycarkey-Borris, Fr George Bourke.

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