Local people will tomorrow (Friday) be given the chance to write a message of remembrance for a loved one at the Guildhall as part of the post-Hallowe’en First Light events taking place to mark All Soul’s Day and All Saint’s Day.
Taking place tomorrow, Friday November 1, and Saturday November 2, First Light will bring people of all faiths together in the spirit of remembrance and reflection to mark the Feast Days, culminating on Saturday with a peaceful choral performance and later a Mass for all those who wish to remember their loved ones at St Eugene’s Cathedral.
On Friday, the Guildhall Main Hall will remain open from 10am to 6pm on Friday for anyone who wants to come and spend some time under Luke Jerram’s ethereal Museum of the Moon installation. Candle bags will be available for visitors to write their message of remembrance for a loved one, which will then be placed on the Main Hall stage.
The Guildhall Square Main Stage will host a musical showcase to remember as choirs from across the city display their talents on Friday afternoon at the Voices of Light event.
The music will be provided by:
*12pm – 1pm – The Class Act Singers
*1:30pm – 2:30pm – Calgach Singers
*3pm – 3:30pm – Songs for the Soul Choir
*4pm – 4:30pm – Pink Ladies Choir
*5pm – 6pm – Momentum Community Choir
This forms part of a series of services, installations, musical and choral experiences which will run throughout the two days aimed at offering opportunities to reflect, offer prayers and thanks.
Events Co-ordinator with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Helena Hasson, said that after such a busy week for the city it would be an opportunity to slow the pace and remember the spiritual origins of the All Hallows celebration.
“First Light is a relatively new element to our Halloween programme and one that we continue to grow and develop in partnership with the local churches and community organisations. It’s very unique and quite special.
“After being caught up in the excitement and energy of Halloween, First Light immerses us once again in calmness and serenity. It really is a beautiful programme of thought provoking events aimed at bringing people together and engaging them in restorative and enlightening activities.”
Meditative yoga sessions will also be taking place throughout Friday in the Guildhall. The sessions are free and are open to everyone, no experience required.
Meanwhile there will be a Windows to the Soul Reflective Walking Tour will take you on a contemplative journey around some of the city’s most significant places of reflection and worship on Friday and Saturday starting at 8.20pm and lasting 90 minutes each night.
Beginning at Aras Colmcille, Long Tower, the tour will take in St Columba’s Long Tower, before moving to St Augustine’s, then First Derry Presbyterian Church, and finishing at St Columb’s Cathedral.
Organiser Kieran Griffiths explained the idea behind the tour. “It was inspired from a poem by local poet Daniel Ferguson. His poem talks about each religion as a window looking at Christ, and each window has a different architecture, but is looking at the same Christ.
“Volunteers and Church leaders from each venue were interviewed during the project as to how they pray, what is special about their place and what they would want a visitor to know about the Church. From this process a tour outlining the atmosphere, history, people, song and prayer of each place has been written. The tour will give a look into the soul of that church.
“The process of interviewing and writing this simple walking tour was a very moving experience. It moved the inertia of routine, it moved perceptions of others and it was emotionally moving on many occasions meeting the wonderfully dedicated human beings keeping these beautiful building and the message alive.”
Enjoy specially composed music and share a common prayer at each of the churches as part of this reverent look into the presentation of faith marking the feast of All Saints and All Souls. Candle bags will again be available at each of the churches so that people can write an intention for a loved one they have lost and place the lit lantern bag at that church. This event is free and everyone is welcome.
REMEMBERING LOVED ONES
The First Light programme will conclude with a peaceful choral performance at Eugene’s Cathedral, as people gather to remember departed family and friends at 5pm, followed by a special mass of remembrance at 6.15pm. Intentions can be offered up during the mass and the cathedral will be bathed in golden light to commemorate All Souls and First Light.
For full programme details of all the First Light events, please visit www.derryhalloween.com/1stlight