Over a number of years, the Augustinian priests and congregation at Orlagh developed a distinctive form of Eucharistic celebration. The setting in the chapel and the numbers involve (30-50), allow for a more flexible and participative form of mass than is possible in a large church. Some people find it helpful and feel that it encourages thoughtfulness and participation.The congregation – including the celebrants – sit in a circle and the main celebrant spends a little time helping people to settle down and tune in to the theme of the mass of the day.
A Lectio Divina style reflection follows the Liturgy of the Word. The celebrant invites the congregation to repeat, without comment, a word or phrase from any of the readings, that particularly struck them. They are then invited to comment briefly on how the message of the readings speaks to their lives and experiences. This is an open invitation and each person is free to speak or be silent.Following the creed and spontaneous prayers of the faithful, the whole congregation moves to stand around the altar for the liturgy of the Eucharist. When the time comes for communion, the paten is passed around first and people are free to take communion or pass the paten on. When all have received the host, we eat together. The chalice is then passed around for those who wish to receive from it.
After communion the congregation returns to the circle of seats and there is some quiet time with music playing or communal singing.
Before the mass concludes, the celebrant invites people to reflect on what they are taking with them from this celebration. Going out as God’s people we invite God’s blessing for the road ahead.We conclude with a final hymn. Singing is an important part of the Orlagh ritual, following St. Augustine’s advice that “Who sings once, prays twice”, and pretty much the whole congregation joins in
Coffee, tea and biscuits are provided after mass and are seen as an important aspect of the inclusiveness and community awareness of the Orlagh spirit.
Since November 11th, 2018 this Mass is now celebrated each Sunday at 10.30am in the St. Benildus Pastoral Centre, 160a Kilmacud Road Upper.