December 2018 at the Dublin Unitarian Church

“December, being the last month of the year, cannot help but make us think of what is to come.”

Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life

Sunday Services in December 2018

December 2nd – One Mantra – Rev. Bridget Spain
December 9th – Saving This Old Planet – Tony Brady
December 16th – Annual Service Of Readings And Carols
December 23rd – Once In Royal David’s City – Rory Delany
December 25th – Christmas Spirits – Rev. Bridget Spain
December 30th – Service of Favourite Readings

11am at Dublin Unitarian Church

Also . . . .
Wednesdays at 1.05pm
Lunchtime Service of Reflection – facilitator Pam McCarthy

All welcome.

Sermons, childrens’ stories and meditation prayers from all Sunday services are recorded and can be accessed from our website on the Recordings page.

The church records its weekly Sunday services and has three podcasts on the I-Tunes Music Store with three sections of the service (sermon, prayers and moments of reflection, and our children’s story) updated weekly. Search there for “Dublin Unitarian Church”.

Church Clubs & Groups Meeting in December 2018

Film Club meets on the first Wednesday of the month (5th December) at the Lantern Centre on Synge Street.  They meet at 7pm for a 7.30 start  This month, they will watch School Life, a life affirming documentary on a year in the life of the pupils and teachers at Headfort School, a primary boarding school here in Ireland. Described by the Guardian as an ‘endearing documentary’ we feel that it is the perfect conclusion to our last showing of 2018.   The film club is a great social opportunity to meet other members of the church as well as to watch great movies.  Admission is free but film club members like to leave a donation for the Lantern Centre.

The church Book Club meets on the last Wednesday of the month in the vestry of the church at 7pm.  They break every year for the December meeting – lots of other things to be doing between Christmas and the New Year – but they will resume on January 30th to discuss Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Our Walking Club like to go walking on a regular basis – usually about once a month.    Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for further info or to receive regular info from the walking club.

Theatre Club members like to meet up occasionally to attend the theatre  (or, sometimes, the cinema for variety) in a social setting and sometimes meet for dinner before or drinks after.  If you’d like to know of future plans send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required and he will put you on the mailing list.


The church recently undertook to restore the Hutton Window on the West Wall of the church.  You can see the beautiful results on our Facebook page.  There is more work to be done to bring new light through these old but historic windows.  You can contribute to the ongoing restoration work by donating via Paypal or by buying church publications and greeting cards at church or online.


The church has published a variety of books and other products.  Our most recent publication is a first collection of sermons and essays by our current minister Rev. Bridget Spain.

The new book, as well as other books of sermons and childrens stories and greetings cards published by the church are available from the website and we take payment through Paypal.

Events in the church – December 2018

Saturday 1st December
Aiken Promotions presents
Ed Harcourt
Doors 8pm
Tickets €22 from

On November 23rd, pianist / singer / songwriter Ed Harcourt releases Beyond The End, his first album for Point Of Departure. It is his first instrumental album. A much acclaimed recording artist who released his Mercury Prize nominated debut, Here Be Monsters on Heavenly Records in 2001, in recent years he has gained acclaim for his songwriting for a variety of artists.

The album, which follows Furnaces, his 2016 album for Polydor, sees Ed Harcourt add another new string to his multi-faceted musical bow. Something of a left-turn after its busy, big-screen, somewhat under-appreciated predecessor, it sees the supremely versatile singer, writer and all-round instrumentalist bravely eschew vocals and lyrics and create a soft-spoken yet emotionally loquacious group of piano-led instrumentals, as if sound-tracking an as yet invisible film, or responding to today’s ferocious shouting match of a planet with a mesmerizing, meditative calm. “The world that we live in, we’re exhausted by the internet, social media, the sheer barrage of news and vomit being rained down us on a daily basis. You can’t avoid it, and it’s tiring. So this record came from taking a step back – it’s something that’s trying to be beautiful. My hope is that people might choose to swim amongst this music when it all gets too much.”

Talking about the gestation of the album, which was written and recorded at his ‘Wolf Cabin’ studio in Oxfordshire Harcourt said, “I knew I wanted to buy a new piano. Eventually I found this 1910 Hopkinson Baby Grand, which is exactly the same make and era as my grandmother’s piano which I started learning on and wrote my first three records on. I felt at home again. I needed a break from singing and lyrics so I began writing instrumental music. I grew up listening to and playing Debussy, Satie, Mozart, Grieg, as well as modern composers like Max Richter, Philip Glass, Arvo Part. I also loved Warren Ellis (with whom Harcourt worked on the new Marianne Faithfull album) and Nick Cave’s score for The Assassination Of Jesse James…

“So from around February I’d get up on the cold mornings, have a coffee after the kids had gone to school, then come in here, shut the door, just play…with the snow coming down outside the window. When I found something I thought worked, I’d play it over and over again… “

With the piano accompanied on occasion by Ed’s wife Gita Langley’s violin and Amy Langley’s cello yet in some phases as minimal as Furnaces was maximal, the album carries you through deceptively calm waters while nonetheless stirring up your stormiest inner passions. Reflective, but never passive it’s a quiet storm and a curveball which will gently woo you rather than boisterously bundle you over.

“It’s not contrived, this. It’s come from the heart. I feel like someone might enjoy it on headphones while walking around an unfamiliar city for the first time.” It’s a foreign affair, but only if you’ve never noticed the depth and diversity that’s always infused Ed Harcourt’s music.

Watch the video for Empress Of The Lake from Beyond The End

Friday 7th December
Aiken Promotions presents
Hilary Woods
Doors open 7.30pm
Tickets €16.50 (+booking fee) from

From Dublin’s Northside, Hilary Woods has come far from her bassist roots. After a spell in fine art school and having studied literature and film in college, music called her back. Since 2014, she has been performing and recording a series of groundbreaking performances, culminating with her debut solo CD “Colt” which was recorded during Winter 2017 with James Kelly in Berlin and released in June 2018.

Woods’ beguiling song- craft has been described as ‘bewitching’, sonically ‘spectral’, ‘ominous and dreamlike’, with the Sunday Times hailing early solo recordings as ‘a revelation in terms of the depth of song-writing’. Her songs imbued with wonder, heartache and a compelling darkness, are accompanied by a tenacious creativity which has seen Woods stretching across multi-disciplinary thresholds exploring visuals and performance art alike. In 2017 Hilary was chosen as Dublin Fringe Festival’s Wild Card artist after creating a piece of theatre NINE from sound design, she was subsequently awarded a place on Theatre Forum’s Next Stage programme. Earlier in the year she was asked to compose original score for horror film as part of the Irish Film Institute’s season celebrating the cinema of the Weimar Republic.

Colt is available to buy from Woods’ Bandcamp page or to stream from all good digital partners.

Sunday 9th December
Orphée by Jóhann Jóhannsson
performed by Glasshouse
Tickets €19 (€16 concession) from here

This year saw the tragic passing of the visionary Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. We are honoured to receive his team’s blessing to present a concert in his memory. The event will consist of a new arrangement of his incredible 2016 album Orphée followed by original pieces by five Irish composers responding to his life and work.

Saturday 15th December
The Lalala Choir – Elements
Director – Sam Kavanagh
Show 7pm
Tickets €15 / €12 from

7 new composers, 7 world premieres

Join The Lalala Choir for an evening of original music as we premiere seven brand new choral compositions composed by our own members:

Sic Vita – Deirdre Thompson
Wana Made Sing – Lucia Smyth
The Sea is Quiet – Gordon McCormick
Dark – Doireann Waldron O’Loughlin
4am – Mark Cantan
YFWBS – Mariachiara Pecchiari
Hunt in the Open – Nathalie Neumayer

The Lalala Choir has been making its mark in Dublin since 2015 with their focus on improvisation and an inclusive philosophy that says ‘music is for everyone’. Their interactive performances have graced stages, courtyards and fields alike at Electric Picnic, Body&Soul, Ballymaloe Litfest, the Night of Choirs Festival (Hungary). They also produce their own concerts and pop-up performances around the city. The programme will include new music by Sam Kavanagh, performed by the Tuesday Lalala Choir.

While the group are used to putting their own spin on things, from Mozart operas to surf rock, this will be their first time presenting an entirely original programme; stepping over the blurry line from improvisation to fully-fledged compositions.

Monday 17th December
The Road To The East
Judith Mok and the Khoshravesh Brothers
with special guests
Show 8.15pm
Tickets €18.50 / €22.50 from

In the 16th century the Jews were expelled from Spain and scattered east to the Ottoman Empire, North Africa and even further afield. They took with them the Spanish language and the music of medieval Spain. Down through the centuries they interacted and mingled with the music of the East, to produce what is now known as Sephardic music. The Dutch soprano of part Sephardic descent, Judith Mok, has
been exploring and performing this repertoire for decades.

The Khoshravesh brothers, now based in Paris, studied classical and traditional music in their native Iran. They have joined Judith Mok in a programme which mixes the many traditions of West and East, and explores their similarities and differences, the cross-fertilisations. They will be performing together Sephardic songs, classical Persian music, and in addition, they will perform other music from the 16th century, such as John Dowland, using traditional instruments.

In addition, they will be joined by some very special guests on the night. This promises to be an evening of unusual cross-cultural exchanges performed by musicians at the very top of their game in the beautiful surroundings of the Unitarian Church on Stephen’s Green. Certainly nothing like it has ever been heard in Dublin before, so don’t miss out!


Please feel free to spread the word about the Unitarian Church in Dublin by forwarding this e-mail onto others who you think might be interested in it.

Also, the church has a presence on Facebook and Twitter – please do come and visit us. All details that we have for all these events are up there as well as on our newly revamped website at

Best wishes,

Dublin Unitarian Church
112 St. Stephen’s Green West
Dublin 2


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