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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Kilkenny College Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Kilkenny College Service of Nine Lessons and Carols in St Canice’s Cathedral

One of the highlights in the calendar for both Kilkenny College and St Canice’s Cathedral is the annual school Carol Service. The link between them is unique. The origins of Kilkenny College stem from a college of vicars choral established at St Canice Cathedral in the thirteenth century and in 1538 Piers Butler, Earl of Ormonde and his wife, Margaret, founded a school to the west of the Cathedral, where the library now stands. Things have changed considerably since those early days. Today, with a modern campus on the Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny College has in excess of 900 pupils as well as over 100 staff.

On Thursday 21 st December, these staff and pupils made the short journey to fill the cathedral with their singing. The congregation was greeted by 6 th form pupil in Irish and then the Dean, the Very Revd Stephen Farrell, read the traditional bidding prayer. Pupils and staff were involved in the scripture readings, which were interspersed with familiar congregational carols and an arrangement of Christmas music played by the school orchestra. In addition, the school choirs sang several anthems including the ‘Coventry Carol’ and ‘Star Carol’. The Christmas Gospel was read by the Bishop and at the end of the service he gave
the blessing.

Afterwards the Bishop joined the staff and pupils for their Christmas Lunch in Kilkenny College.