Saint Brigid of Kildare has inspired countless seekers since the 5th century. Patron saint of poets, artists, smiths, and those who work the land, this holy woman of Ireland is best known for her kindling of an eternal flame. Brigid’s holy fire ignites our own, urging us to tend the precious, eternal flame within our hearts. 

Saint Brigid is closely associated with the pre-christian goddess Brigid, a mysterious, wondrous syncretic connection that delights our curiosity and enriches Brigid’s divine legacy. These holy ladies share many similar attributes, including their association with the eternal flame, as followers of each of these women committed to tending fires in their honor. They also share a day of celebration, February 1st, known as Lá Fhéile Bríde (Saint Brigid’s Feast Day) and Imbolc (the Celtic celebration of the first day of spring, halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox).

With ignited curiosity of the connection between these powerful, ancient Irish women and inspired by their legacy, Eya has begun a project exploring and re-envisioning medieval music dedicated to Saint Brigid. Brigid is a new program, presenting a rare and wonderful body of plainchant from the feast of Saint Brigid, unique to only two extant manuscripts from 15th-century Ireland, currently housed at Trinity College Dublin. 

Eya has crafted a “contemporary matins” program, mixing the splendid medieval Irish chants with ancient and modern blessings, poems, stories, and songs in honor and praise of Brigid. Accompanied by Cynthia Cathcart on the clàrsach (wire-strung harp), this singular program will deepen our understanding of Brigid and her phenomenal legacy, as well as illuminate the unknown works of medieval Irish composers. We will also be joined by a volunteer choir, Brigid’s Circle, formed specifically for this performance. 

May Brigid inspire us to tend our own inner flame. 
May our voices be uplifted in praise to her. 
May we be led towards a renewal of the earth, and the springing of our collective spirit.


Cynthia Cathcart, clarsach

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