The Masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada


November 07th


18:00pm - 20:00pm


Pugin Hall

The Masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada - Explorations in Vernacular Chant

On Tuesday 7th November 2017, in the recently refurbished Pugin Hall of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, up to 300 guests attended the launch, by Archbishop Eamon Martin (Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland) of Dr John O’Keeffe’s recently published book The Masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada, Explorations in Vernacular Chant.   Reverend Professor Michael Mullaney, President of Saint Patrick’s College, as well as Peadar Ó Riada and Dr John O’Keeffe joined Archbishop Eamon on the night. Following the launch, a special concert in memory of Reverend Professor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta was held in the College Chapel, with music provided by Cór Chúil Aodha, the renowned male voice choir,directed by Peadar Ó Riada.  

John O’Keeffe’s new book represents the first major study of the Ó Riada liturgical output. Seán Ó Riada’s “Ceol an Aifrinn” remains the most popular Mass setting composed in the Irish language and contains iconic settings such as Ár nAthair, Is Naofa and Ag Críost an Síol. It assesses the achievements of both composers, measuring their work against the heritage, discipline and compositional principles of western plainchant, and heralding its significance as a model for contemporary vernacular liturgical music. 

Dr John O’Keeffe is the current director of Sacred Music at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and is a lecturer and director of choral ensembles at Maynooth University. Our hearty congratulations  to Dr John O’Keeffe on this significant publication.  This study can be purchased from

A short video of the evening’s launch and concert can be viewed here


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