Hail Gladdening Light – Friday, 19 May at 7.30pm

A Concert to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of St Bernadette’s Church

St Bernadette’s Church is a well-known and highly visible landmark on Belfast’s outer ring, and the distinctive fan-shaped building has glorified God and served the people of the south east of the city since 1967. St Bernadette’s is now listed due to its architectural significance and its internal design features of the highest standards such as Dame Elisabeth Frink’s hugely striking nine-foot high sculpture of Christ which floats above the altar.  Extensive refurbishment in 2015 and 2016 returned the building to its original glory, in particular fully restoring the eleven magnificent window panels which form the curved side of the building.  These panels, designed by Benedictine priest Fr Charles Norris, contain over 25,000 pieces of solid coloured glass, gradually tracing the colours of the rainbow and reflecting the path of the sun throughout the day.

As part of the Church’s 50th anniversary celebrations, leading Belfast-based choir Cappella Caeciliana will present a concert on Friday, 19th May at 7.30pm.  Under the theme of “Hail Gladdening Light” to reflect the building’s keynote feature, the choir will present a programme of bright and joyful choral music, including the ever-popular “Hallelujah Chorus” by Handel.  The concert will also feature items performed by Cappella’s founder member Fr Eugene O’Hagan, well known both as a soloist and as a member of “The Priests”.  In addition, organist Stephen Hamill will inaugurate the rebuilt and extended organ, performing solos including Widor’s “Toccata”.

Proceeds are in aid of the organ rebuilding fund and Cappella Caeciliana’s 2018 CD recording. Tickets cost £15 and are available from St. Bernadette’s, Bread and Banjo Bakery (353 Ormeau Road), Matchetts Music (6 Wellington Place), and www.caeciliana.org. Students and under 25s will be admitted free of charge (no ticket required).