Policy on use of the Cathedral

Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow

The primary function of the Cathedral is to facilitate the liturgical worship and celebration of the Catholic community of Carlow and the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin.

  1. Not withstanding, we appreciate that there are other Christian events/celebrations which may be facilitated in this sacred space. Any such event will only be permitted in consultation with the Parish Planning and Reflection Group (or other parish group charged with this responsibility), in accordance with the following guidelines:
  2. Due consideration will be given to the relevant Church documents (Concerts in Churches, Congregation of Divine Worship; The Code of Canon Law 1210, 1220)
  3. Admission to the Cathedral shall be free and open to all. Freewill offerings are permitted. Donations for the purpose of defraying the expense of the event may be requested from donors; however, the event itself must be open to the public free of charge.
  4. The event should not interfere with scheduled parish or diocesan events.
  5. Requests for the use of the Cathedral may be made in writing to the Administrator a minimum of eight weeks before the event, indicating the date and time of the proposed concert, outlining the programme, and giving the names of the works and composers.
  6. Reverence is to be shown to the sanctuary area and Cathedral furnishings, especially the altars, tabernacles, the bishop’s and presider’s chairs, and the ambo. Respect must also be shown towards the baptismal font, the aumbry, the statues and shrines.
  7. The Blessed Sacrament is to be reserved in the Cathedral Sacristy during rehearsals, concerts and other non-liturgical events. Therefore the Sacristy will not be available to event organisers
  8. Event organisers will be liable for any expenses incurred (see Appendix 1, h).

February 2010

Appendix 1

From Concerts in Churches, Congregation for Divine Worship – November 5, 1987

In order that the sacred character of a church be conserved in the matter of concerts, the Ordinary can specify that:

  1. Requests are to be made in writing, in good time, indicating the date and time of the proposed concert, the program, giving the works and the names of the composers.
  2. After having received the authorization of the Ordinary*, the rectors and parish priests of the churches should arrange details with the choir and orchestra so that the requisite norms are observed.
  3. Entrance to the church must be without payment and open to all.
  4. The performers and the audience must be dressed in a manner which is fitting to the sacred character of the place.
  5. The musicians and the singers should not be placed in the sanctuary. The greatest respect is to be shown to the altar, the president’s chair and the ambo.
  6. The Blessed Sacrament should be, as far as possible, reserved in a side chapel or in another safe and suitably adorned place (Cf. C.I.C., can 938, par. 4).
  7. The concert should be presented or introduced not only with historical or technical details, but also in a way that fosters a deeper understanding and an interior participation on the part of the listeners.
  8. The organizer of the concert will declare in writing that he accepts legal responsibilities for expenses involved, for leaving the church in order and for any possible damage incurred.

Appendix 2
From The Code of Canon Law

Can. 1210 In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion. Anything which is discordant with the holiness of the place is forbidden. The Ordinary* may however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place.

Can 1220 §1 Those responsible are to ensure that there is in churches such cleanliness and ornamentation as befits the house of God, and that anything which is discordant with the holiness of the place is excluded.

§2 Ordinary concern for preservation and appropriate means of security are to be employed to safeguard sacred and precious goods.

Can. 938 §4 For a grave reason, especially at night, it is permitted to reserve the blessed Eucharist in some safer place, provided it is fitting.

*The term “Ordinary” refers to the local bishop.