Month: January 2010

St. Mungo Festival

St. Mungo Festival The Festival started in great style in the Mitchell Library on 9th January, when the City Council’s Department of Culture & Sport hosted a short, informal ecumenical event under the title “Celebrating the Life of Mungo in Words and Song”. There were, understandably, some concerns about whether it would proceed because of the severe weather but there was a good showing of determined participants and friends. In addition the Library was busy with visitors to its café and internet facilities. The Mitchell event in fact predates the Festival, being in its third year, and centres round readings from the mediaeval life of St. Mungo written by Jocelyn, a monk of Jarrow, and commissioned by Bishop Jocelyn of Glasgow. A copy of the manuscript was discovered in Dublin and facsimiles were obtained, one of which is in the Mitchell Library and is on display during the Festival. This year the programme began with children from St. Patrick’s Primary singing the St. Mungo Rhyme “This is the tree that never grew” which may have originated as an anti- Mungo jibe but now has become part of the positive Mungo legend and finds its expression in the City Coat of Arms. This was followed by Bailie McMaster’s welcome to all present to the beginning of the Festival which is, in a sense, the birthday of the City. She explained...

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Hogmanay Watchnight Service

This ecumenical service was organised by Hope Alba and hosted by Glasgow Cathedral. Despite the snow, ice and freezing fog (and the fact that the starting time was 11pm), the service was well attended and the Cathedral had pulled out the stops to make the building warm and welcoming. As well as a number of church representatives, including Dr. Whitley, Archbishop Conti, Rev. William B. Ferguson and Mgr. Gerry Fitzpatrick, we had a small music ensemble ( the Cathedral Strings), a soloist (Bethany Hamilton, a student from the RSAMD) and guest preacher, Elaine Duncan (Chief Executive of the Scottish Bible Society). As the congregation gathered, the ensemble played Christmas carols and then the service started with “O Come, All ye Faithful”, and “Be Still, for the Presence of the Lord”. Dr. Whitley welcomed everyone to the service with a beautiful opening prayer, one line of which was “You were the hand in the darkness”. Then Bethany Hamilton sang a haunting anthem “I will magnify” set to the music of Bach’s First Prelude. Sgt. Mark McCaffrey of Strathclyde Police then spoke of the difference his faith has made to him in the carrying out of his duties in Glasgow. Despite experiencing so much violence caused by domestic arguments and drink/drugs, he still faces the New Year with hope because he has also witnessed the capacity of communities to support those...

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