Happy Easter!

Easter Vigil mass tonight in St Clare’s Church Graiguecullen celebrated by Fr Dunphy was a lovely experience, featuring among other things many many candles!  The Church was unlit at the beginning of mass.  7 girls from the local school brought the Easter light in procession to the altar.  From this candle the paschal candle was lit.  Our famous Fr Liam Lawton, sang a newly composed Easter song with the ladies choir and the entire congregation had their individual candles lit.  It was a really uplifting and optimistic aspect of the mass.   To add to the occasion there was a christening of a baby boy who was amazingly quiet – the Holy Water didn’t even wake him up!- unlike my own 6 year old who was “bored” by the whole thing!!.  His christening candle (unfortunately not one of mine!) was lit from the new Paschal candle.  The Paschal candle will be used throughout the year to light many more Christening and Wedding candles – hopefully a some of them will have been personalised by yours truely!

Christening Candle with presentation box and personalised card

The bored 6 year old was eventually rewarded by the Easter Bunny and Chicken giving Easter Eggs to all the children at the end of the ceremony.  Of course the same 6 year old Milo was keen to emphasise to me that he knew that this wasn’t the real Easter Bunny, but he decided to take an egg anyway.  I hope the real Easter Bunny does actually turn up here or there’ll be one very disappointed little boy in this house!!!

Happy Easter! – hope this time of renewal brings some optimism to us all.  Certainly on my part I’m drooling in anticipation of a first taste of chocolate since the beginning of Lent!  Yum!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Very tired tonight after celebrating our patron saint’s day – not a drop of alcohol but a lot of tea and coffee!  Started early at Killeshin where we had the 26th traditional St Patrick’s parade led by the highly respected Killeshin Pipe Band and backed up by the children’s band from Killeshin National School. Its a short walk to Holy Cross Church from the school but its a wonderful example of community spirit in action, neighbours chatting en route to mass, most people wearing something green, some children (and adults) with hugh green hats and a few sporting leprechaun type beards!  The school children and teachers put a huge amount of work into the celebration and the entire congregation put their hearts into “hail glorious St Patrick” at the end of the mass.  Then it was back down the hill to the local hall for refreshments, activities for the kids, facepainting, goal shooting, bouncy gladiator game and draw for hamper – all of this was organised by the ladies football club.  The hall is still looking great after a recent terrific makeover for the fantastic Killeshin version of the X factor – the “K Factor“!

Now what has all this got to do with my work you might ask,……….well not a lot actually, but there’s more to life than just work! However some of my crafty abilities were on display at our second parade of the day in Carlow.  My son attends the Gaelscoil so we marched along with the school behind our uplifting banner – “Slán leis na scamaill, (goodbye clouds) bring on sunshine”  – I made this last year and its been hanging in the school keeping a positive note through the year in the halla.  It’s still a hopeful thought for these difficult times- positive thinking is bound to do some good!

Bring on the Sunshine!

The tail end of the group was brought up by the Gaelscoil dragon – I made this for the 2008 parade celebrating the Bejing Olympics.  All the children and parents seemed to enjoy taking part, drumming, waving flags and practicing Ben ten monster moves with eachother (my boy and friends anyway!)  Unfortunately the whole thing was over very quickly – the parade was quite short, but there was a fantastic crowd cheering everyone on.  Well done to everyone who took part and especially the organisers and maybe even a word of thanks to him/her upstairs for a dry, even warmish day!  Roll on Spring, Bring on the Sunshine!

From Christenings to Confirmations

It seems very early for Confirmation ceremonies, but already several schools have celebrated this sacrament.  My daughter celebrated the Ceremony of light at Killeshin last Monday.  It was a really lovely ceremony with a large turn out from the community – family, friends, sponsors, teachers and school choir turning a regular Monday evening to something special.  The ceremony of light is a part of the preparation for Confirmation where the children renew the baptismal promises their parents and sponsors made on their behalf when they were Baptised.  Their Christening/Baptismal candle is lit and passed from parent or sponsor to the child symbolising the transfer of responsibility for their spiritual well being from their parents to themselves as acknowledged by their Confirmation into the Church.  

Personalised Christening candle with Christening date engraved together with symbols representing Holy Communion and Confirmation

I have been so pleased to have customers returning to me in recent months to add Confirmation dates (and sometimes Confirmation name) on candles which I prepared for their children’s Christening up to 12 years ago.  I felt privileged to have prepared my own children’s candles for their Christenings, Communions and finally Confirmation.  The next time they’re used could possibly be for Weddings…………I remember engraving candles for a couple who’s christenings, communions, and confirmations were very close in date, so for the individual candles in the Unity set they asked me to engrave all these dates and then the Unity candle as normal – so the candles provided a unique record of their progress through life!