The event is getting ready to kick off in Ireland.
Every three years the Church organizes the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), a gathering that promotes the pastoral care of families, the protection of their rights, and the dignity of the Church and of civil society. This year, as the event is preparing to launch in Dublin, The Irish Independent reports that Andrea Bocelli and Riverdance will be the featured performers, along with Irish flutist James Galway.
Riverdance is a theatrical show that tells a story through Irish step-dance and traditional Irish music. It took the world by storm when it was first performed, in 1994, and has since been seen by about 25 million people at more than 450 venues. Aside from a wonderful score written by Bill Whelan, the show’s big draw is the impressive footwork of Michael Flatley and Jean Butler.
The World Meeting of Families will take place between August 22 – 26 in Dublin, Ireland. A spokesperson for the organization commented, “[The] Festival of Families in Croke Park will be one of the highlights of the World Meeting of Families 2018. It will have a great line-up of community-based artists as well as some well-known local and international artists.”
They have released a full schedule of events on their website. Riverdance and Bocelli will perform on the evening of August 25, during the Festival of Families. Other acts include: Nathan Carter, Dana Masters, Daniel O’Donnell, Celine Byrne, The Begley Family, Holy Family Deaf Choir & Deaftones, Patrick Bergin, The Priests, Paddy Moloney, Bridgie and Missy Collins, and Moya Brennan. The website does note that more acts may be added as the dates close in.
In a recent interview with Bocelli, when asked if he thinks his music could help families “become joy for the world,” he answered:
Everything that is done for a good purpose can help and actually helps; therefore also the work of someone like me who sings, so it aims to give joy, to give a moment of lightness in which the spirit flies and you can reflect, you can meditate on the meaning of life, on the things that really count … singing, in its small way, does its part, for sure. St. Augustine said that “whoever sings pray twice!” I really like to believe this because if this is true, then I have prayed a lot in my life.
Pope Francis will attend the performance of Riverdance, but he is only expected to stay for the first hour of the two-hour show.