I have been thinking about this “Gathering” business and finally came up with a bit of an idea. We will run it here in Cúil Aodha but I think the template could suit other communities in Ireland.
The Station is a custom that goes back to the time when church buildings were scarce in Ireland. People would hold mass, for the local area, in a private house. There were, typically, 10-12 houses in a station area and it was held twice a year. It involves dolling up the house, people coming in for the mass and a simple meal, with the obvious social side and entertainments afterwards.
We start with a mass on Friday night followed by a communal meal in, Árus Éamon Mac Suibhne.
Saturday will be families’ day where the different families will gather together and use the evening to have a meal together. We will put info with genealogies in the Arus, for anyone who wishes to trace their family history.
Sunday will be another communal mass and depending on the weather, we will have a simple Aeríocht and parting event in the field.
All religions are of course welcome to the mass as it creates a focal point at the start to gather people together. This is about families, communities and the renewal of communications and friendships. By coordinating a specific weekend for our community, we hope that old friends will reunite. Chughaibhse san anois – over to you now.