Reek Sunday

 

The annual Reek Sunday Pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo, will return to its traditional format this year which will see pilgrims gathering in Murrisk, Co Mayo on Sunday 31 July to make the climb up to the summit of Ireland’s holy mountain. The pilgrimage, which was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, went ahead in 2021 in an extended format throughout the whole month of July to allow people to make the pilgrimage safely with smaller numbers each day. This year’s pilgrimage reverts to the traditional Reek Sunday!

On Sunday 31 July, Mass will be celebrated on the summit at 8.00am, 9.00am, 10.00am, 11.00am, 12 noon, 1.00pm, with the last Mass at 2.00pm. the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available on the summit from 7.30am to 2.00pm. The 10.00am Mass will be as Gaeilge.

Details of how to fulfil the spiritual requirements of the pilgrimage are available on www.westportparish.ie and on signage in the carpark at the start of the ascent.

Pilgrims are asked to plan their trip to Croagh Patrick as early as possible and to familiarise themselves with the advice available on making the climb on www.mayomountainrescue.ie and www.mountaineering.ie as well as checking the weather on www.met.ie.

Croagh Patrick, Ireland`s holy mountain, (2,510ft/765m) lies within the parish of Westport about 8km outside of the town.  Croagh Patrick dominates the landscape of southwest Mayo both spiritually and physically.  The Croagh Patrick pilgrimage is associated with Saint Patrick who, in 441AD, spent 40 days and nights fasting on the summit, following the example of Christ and Moses.  The name ‘Reek Sunday’ comes from Patrick’s ability to Christianise many pagan customs including the festival of Lughnasa, which previously had heralded the start of the harvest festival honouring the ancient pagan god Lugh, whose name is encompassed in the Irish word for August: Lughnasa. The festival’s tradition became absorbed into the new Christian beliefs and locally become known as Domhnach na Cruaiche (Reek Sunday).  The Reek pilgrimage has been undertaken for 1,500 years and an estimated 100,000 pilgrims visit the holy mountain annually.  A virtual tour of the mountain can be viewed on the website of the Archdiocese of Tuam www.tuamarchdiocese.org.