Canon Patrick Comerford, Lecturer in Anglicanism, Liturgy and Church History in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, has contributed three chapters to new books published during the summer months.
Bishop Brendan Leahy, the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Limerick, and Professor Salvador Ryan of Maynooth, have edited Treasures of Irish Christianity, Volume II, A People of the Word, which was launched in Maynooth recently by Veritas.
This new collection of essays follows the success of last year’s publication, Treasures of Irish Christianity: People and Places, Images and Texts, edited by Professor Ryan and Dr Leahy, which has recently gone to a re–print.
A second volume entitled Treasures of Irish Christianity: A People of the Word, with over 80 contributions from scholars from Ireland and abroad, was published this summer.
Canon Comerford has contributed two chapters to the new book.
“Bale’s Books and Bedell’s Bible: Early Anglican Translations of Word and Liturgy into Irish,” looks at the careers of two 16th and 17th century bishops of the Church of Ireland, John Bale of Ossory and William Bedell of Kilmore, and contrasts their life stories and their attitudes to translating the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer into the Irish language.
In a second chapter, “‘Thou my high tower”: The Celtic Revival and Hymn Writers in the Church of Ireland,’ Canon Comerford looks at the Celtic revival in the late 19th century, and its impact on hymn–writers in the Church of Ireland and on architectural designs.
Both chapters are illustrated with photographs taken by the author. Other contributions with a Church of Ireland interest include Dr Kerry Houston, ‘Music in the Chapel of Trinity College Dublin’; and Dean John Mann, ‘The Mosaics of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.’ The book includes contributions from a variety of Christian traditions and churches, including Church of Ireland, Greek Orthodox, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Quaker.
In a book launched during the local Abhainn Rí Festival in Callan, Co Kilkenny, Canon Comerford has written about family monuments in Saint Mary’s, the now–closed Church of Ireland parish church in Callan.
‘Comerford Monuments in Callan and the search for a Family’s Origins,’ is a chapter in Callan 800 (1207–2007), History & Heritage, Companion Volume, edited by Joseph Kennedy and published by Callan Heritage Society, 2013.
The new book was launched by Joe Kearney of RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany, a well–known author, broadcaster and documentary film–maker, who is from Callan. Speaking at the book launch, Joseph Kennedy, a local historian, said the first volume, published in 2007 to mark Callan’s eighth centenary, was inspired by research by Canon Adrian Empey, who had dated the first charter granted to Callan to the year 1207.
Canon Patrick Comerford (centre), with Professor Pierse Grace, contributor, and Joe Kennedy, editor, at the launch of a new book in Callan, Co Kilkenny (Photograph: Barbara Comerford, 2013)