Wondering what Nightfever is all about? Well, I did too when I was first introduced to it in December 2012 at the St Andrew's Conference on Vatican II and the New Evangelisation. I thought: what is the Church doing in callobaration with the Bee Gees? Is it some kind of radical plan to get us all to dance to hymns in Church?
The truth, of course, is quite far from those first thoughts I had, though it is fair to say there is some level of musical influence where Nightfever is concerned.
Chris Jones, who plays a significant part in the Nightfever movement, explained "Nightfever is very simple; exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is our main focus." Well, that's the dancing shoes back in the cupboard. Thank goodness!
The Blessed Sacrament, of course, is a source of absolute joy. It is Jesus Christ, truly present, body, blood, soul and divinity on the altar. This is the very heart of the Catholic Faith, and this innovative movement which is gathering pace not only in the UK, but across the globe, is ensuring that the risen Christ is at the very heart of its message.
Chris explained that "Nightfever was started on the back of World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005, and the simple aim was to bring those young people who were there into the Church. It is a night for those who are broken, who have maybe not been inside a Church for many years to come and see what our Lord has for them." Chris says it is also a chance for those who regularly attend Church to see what the Lord has for them too. Everybody is welcome at Nightfever.
The main focus, as already pointed out, is on Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar; there is however, so much more happening around a Nightfever event. "We have priests available for the sacrament of Reconciliation" says Chris, "we have live music and also have a team of street evangelisers who go out and invite people to come and light a candle in the Church. The invitation is simply 'come and see'."
Nightfever is, therefore, not simply an event taking place within the walls of the Church. It is happening out in the street, reaching out and extending a warm invitation to the people of Glasgow to consider going into the Church to light a candle. It may be an opportunity to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, or to go to Confession, or to listen to music. Perhaps it may even be an opportunity to simply contemplate life and what it is really all about.
I recall the presentation by Chris and Michael of Nightfever at the St Andrew's Conference back in December and how they spoke of the example of a gentleman who was invited into the Church. His reaction was that he would never go into a Catholic Church. After some persuading he decided to go into the Church but he stated firmly that it would only be for five minutes. The gentleman walked out of the Church an hour later. This is what Nightfever is doing for people.
Nighfever is not simply a Glasgow phenomenon. We already know it was started on the back of World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005 and it has spread to over 50 cities throughout the world. Berlin, Copenhagen and Vienna are just a few of the locations where Nightfever is active, inviting people all over the world to come to the Blessed Sacrament, to meet Jesus.
The people in attendance at the St Andrew's Conference in December were probably fooled into believing that the Catholic Faith in Scotland was on the way down and it isn't surprising when you watch and read the mainstream media in the UK. Those people may have also felt that much of this was down to a significant decrease in active youth over the last twenty years or so. They left believing something completely different. Indeed, George Weigel, a leading writer and Catholic commentator, told the conference that "it is an exciting time in the church with such initiatives as Nightfever". Despite what the doubters may suggest, there is a youth element in our country and it is extremely active; we just need to open our eyes to it.
The Nightfever gang are inviting us all to 'come and see' Jesus and to experience his love and whatever else he may decide to give us. As Chris said at the St Andrew's Conference "we just give people a candle and let Jesus do the rest." It's a beautiful thought to be able to simply let go and let someone work in you. That's what Jesus does. Nightfever plays a significant part in this process. It gives us a wonderful, joyful platform to allow Jesus to do that work.
St Aloysius Church, 25 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RE
Throughout the year (check our Events Diary for details), starting with Mass at 5.45pm and then Adoration, Reconciliation and Music from 7pm - 11pm
It is not to be missed!
What some people have said about Nightfever Glasgow:
"I've never been in there before, but that was really nice, just what I needed"
"What an amazing night, so beautiful, so powerful....totally blessed! Thank you!"
"It was wonderful!!!!! Thanks to all you organisers for making it possible. Thank you Lord for inviting us all -Praise God!"
"It was so rewarding to see so many members of the public visibly moved by what unfolded on this special, candle-lit night"
Nightfever at St Aloysius Church, Glasgow