Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Choir to sing for Pope in Rome

Members of the Palestrina Choir celebrate on the steps of Government Buildings in Dublin being asked to perform for the Pope

One of Ireland's best-known choirs has been invited to sing at a Mass by the Pope.

The Palestrina Choir of St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin has accepted an invitation to take part in Epiphany celebrations in Rome.

Thirty-two boy choristers and 12 men will sing with the Sistine Chapel Choir in front of Pope Benedict in St Peter's Basilica on Sunday January 6.

As Taoiseach Enda Kenny met boys from the choir at Government Buildings, director Blanaid Murphy said they were delighted to accept the invitation to sing in Rome.

The Vatican gave the choir about six weeks' notice.

"Of course I said straight away we were overwhelmingly interested," she said.

"I tipped them off that there was some news but couldn't let them know quite yet, just in case a kid could not go - then the parents said they were all going."

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will also attend the ceremony in St Peter's.

Two of the most recent choirs to join with the Sistine Chapel Choir were the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

The Palestrina Choir, installed in the Pro-Cathedral in January 1903, is the only Catholic choir of its type in the country and sings every Sunday morning in St Mary's on Marlborough Street.

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