Catholics and Anglicans alike will join together in celebration of the 1,500th anniversary of St. Brigid of Kildare’s death on February 1, 2024. Churches across Kildare will participate in a special ecumenical service titled “Celebrating Saint Brigid 1500: A Service of Thanksgiving,” to be held at St. Brigid’s Cathedral, at 11 a.m.
According to the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the service, which will be held on St. Brigid’s feast day, will include prayer, music, and worship, and is promised to be an uplifting experience for all who participate. The thanksgiving service will be co-led by bishops of both the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland.
Catholics will be represented by Bishop Denis Nulty, Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, and the Church of Ireland by Bishop Pat Storey, Anglican Bishop of Meath and Kildare. The sermon of the service will be delivered by Canon Dr Alison Joyce, the Rector of Saint Bride’s Church, and the local leaders of three Kildare churches will also be present.
Saint Brigid’s Cathedral stands on the site where St. Brigid founded her monastery in the 5th century. While the site is the same, the present building is a restored Norman cathedral dating to the 13th century. The Cathedral was practically in ruin after the Irish Confederate Wars of the 17th century, but was fully restored in 1896.
Following the service, at noon, the cathedral and participating parishes will observe a “Pause for Peace,” or a moment of silence. The Christian communities of Kildare have extended an invitation for the faithful around the world to join them in the “Pause for Peace,” to place their intentions in the hands of St. Brigid on her feast day.
Of the event, Bishop Storey said:
“We are delighted to be a part of the Brigid 1500 celebrations which highlight the Christian heritage and living faith of many in this land. We are partners in the gospel alongside every believer as we remember the wonderful legacy of Brigid.”