Limerick might have taken a bit of a battering in recent media coverage but one event went unreported—the Nollaig Na mBan celebration at the Hunt Museum on January 5th.
Sometime in late November a group of us met—some of us are affiliated to ACI, some to We Are Church Ireland, some to both, some to neither. Taking our inspiration from the various celebrations that We Are Church organized in Dublin we spoke about having an Advent celebration but that became a celebration of Nollaig na mBan—Women’s Christmas, Feast of the Maji, Little Christmas—different words can describe the same thing.
A small group of women planned the ritual/service and publicity was generated by emailing various friends and contacts. Seventy people attended an event that was conducted over an hour and a half. Aenaid Ni Mhurithile took a lead role as MC. Mary Lillis engaged the group in movement and dance, Fiodhna Gardiner played haunting traditional music and Noirin Ni Riain facilitated us in chant that helped us to reflect on the all of creation.
This event was good—it was attended mostly by women but with some men, mostly by older people but with some young ones. Most of all, it was attended by people who wanted to round off the Christmas season, who wanted to acknowledge the mystery of God becoming human and living amongst us. The organizers and the facilitators deserve our thanks and appreciation.