Ó Canainn’s work features in RTÉ Mass broadcast with new Irish missal

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The music of the late Derry composer, Tomás Ó Canainn, featured in the first live RTÉ broadcast of a Mass using a new Irish language translation of the Roman Missal.

The work of the Derry native, who was born in Barry Street off the Strand Road but lived in Cork for many years up until his death in 2013, was featured alongside liturgical compositions by Seán Ó Riada, Liam Lawton, Pat Ahern, Ronan McDonagh, Moira Bergin and Máire Ní Dhuibhir, in a special live studio celebration of the Eucharist on the first Sunday of Advent.

Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry, said: “This is a unique publication, and is hugely significant not only for the Church in Ireland, but for all who care for our culture and heritage, and particularly, our Irish language.

“It is my hope that this new edition of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach will serve those who celebrate the liturgy in Irish, and that it may help to strengthen our Irish language as a living language of prayer both in the Gaeltacht and across Ireland. This new edition of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach is a testament to what can be achieved through continuous collaboration.”

An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach is the liturgical book which contains all the rubrics and prayers for the celebration of the Eucharist in Irish.

The finished Irish translation is the fruit of a huge collaboration between linguists, theologians and native Irish speakers that began 14 years ago in 2003.

Professor Cathal Ó Háinle, Professor and Fellow emeritus of Trinity College, Dublin, provided a substantial part of the primary translation for discussion and analysis by An Coiste Comhairleach um an Liotúirge i nGaeilge - a committee chaired until 2011 by the late Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. Between 2011 and 2014, An Coiste Sapienti reviewed the translation.

That committee was chaired by Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam. Since 2014 Colette Dower of Veritas Publications has been working with a team of editors in order to typeset the text. The music editor of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach is Dr. Ite O’Donovan. Dr O’Donovan transcribed the music of the Missale Romanum 2002, 2008 and of the Roman Missal in English of 2011 and, in some instances, she composed new music.