Hundreds of pilgrims from all over County Tipperary and adjoining counties will flock to the famous monastic site of Derrynaflan on Easter Sunday to celebrate Mass at dawn.
For almost two hours engine sounds of cars and buses will perforate the crisp bog air near Lurgoe, Killenaule, as worshippers make their way to the island for the 6am start to the annual Easter celebrations.
The Derrynaflan chalice (9th century A.D.) 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 in bygone days. The Derrynaflan Chalice was found in a hoard of valuable objects, apparently concealed for safety during a time of major danger.
The Derrynaflan Monastery has been a place of pilgrimage for many years since Canon Liam Ryan, PP, Killenaule-Moyglass, first celebrated Mass on the site in the 1990s. The island is a beautiful location for the celebration of dawn mass, and pilgrims return in their droves year after year to the famous ecclesiastical centre of prayer and meditation.
Fr John Littleton, well known for his newspaper column ‘Making a Difference’ will preach the homily at the ceremony on Easter Sunday morning.
Chief celebrant of the Dawn Mass, Canon Ryan, PP, said that he and his fellow priests in the area are “very much looking forward to the annual celebration on the picturesque island in a lovely part of the Premier County” He added- “The Derrynaflan Mass is a very special part of our Holy Week liturgy, and we are looking forward to another beautiful liturgical celebration on one of the world’s most famous monastic sites.”
Canon Ryan extended a warm welcome to pilgrims. “ We very much look forward to meeting again the very many people who attend the ceremonies at the monastery every year, and to those planning to attend the dawn mass for the very first time. We are very proud of the Derrynaflan Monastery and the famous chalice found there, and the dawn mass we celebrate has become a very special part of our spiritual lives.” he added.
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.
Pilgrims preparing to attend the ceremony are reminded by Canon Ryan “not to forget putting their clocks forward one hour at midnight on Easter Saturday as summertime begins.”