On the First Sunday of Advent, RTÉ One television and radio broadcast a special live studio celebration of the Eucharist, marking the launch of the new altar edition of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach. The presiding celebrant was Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry.
Participating in the broadcast Mass were members of An Coiste Comhairleach um an Liotúirge i nGaeilge (a committee of the Irish Bishops' Conference) and of An Coiste Sapienti (a committee of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Rome); representatives of the National Centre for Liturgy, Maynooth, of Saint Patrick's College Maynooth, of the Irish Bishops' Conference, as well as parishioners of Swords Parish in the Archdiocese of Dublin, where the Eucharist is celebrated on Sundays in Irish at Draighneán, Kinsealy and Altar Server, Tom Long, from Dunboyne Parish in the Diocese of Meath.
The music for the celebration was from Irish composers for the liturgy, including Seán Ó Riada, Liam Lawton, Pat Ahern, Tomás Ó Canainn, Ronan McDonagh, Moira Bergin and Máire Ní Dhuibhir.
Welcoming the new translation, Bishop Kelly said: "This is a unique publication, and is hugely significant not only for the Church in Ireland, but for all who care for our culture and heritage, and particularly, our Irish language. It is my hope that this new edition of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach will serve those who celebrate the liturgy in Irish, and that it may help to strengthen our Irish language as a living language of prayer both in the Gaeltacht and across Ireland. This new edition of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach is a testament to what can be achieved through continuous collaboration."
An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach is the liturgical book which contains all the rubrics and prayers for the celebration of the Eucharist in Irish. The finished Irish translation is the fruit of a huge collaboration between linguists, theologians and native Irish speakers that began 14 years ago in 2003. Professor Cathal Ó Háinle, Professor and Fellow emeritus of Trinity College, Dublin, provided a substantial part of the primary translation for discussion and analysis by An Coiste Comhairleach um an Liotúirge i nGaeilge - a committee chaired until 2011 by the late Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta.
Between 2011 and 2014, An Coiste Sapienti reviewed the translation. That committee was chaired by Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam. Since 2014 Colette Dower of Veritas Publications has been working with a team of editors in order to typeset the text. The music editor of An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach is Dr Ite O' Donovan. Dr O' Donovan transcribed the music of the Missale Romanum 2002, 2008 and of the Roman Missal in English of 2011 and, in some instances, she composed new music.
An Leabhar Aifrinn Rómhánach was printed by W & G Baird, Antrim. The binder is PCF Print Finish Ltd, Dublin. 800 copies were published by Veritas Publications and 685 have been sold to date.
Watch the Mass on RTÉ Player here: www.rte.ie/player/gb/show/masses-and-services-936/10811456/