Month: December 2013

St. Leo’s Carol Service 2013

Every year the challenge for the St. Mungo Singers is fitting the choir’s own Christmas celebration in while meeting its other obligations. This year, they decided to combine work and pleasure, organising a joint Carol Service on 8th December with the parish choir at St. Leo the Great parish, where they are based. This would also be recorded for use on RadioAlba and it would be followed by a Christmas celebration in the parish hall. The service was a beautiful mix of the old and the new, the traditional (and well-known) and the contemporary (and perhaps less familiar). The choirs were joined by instrumentalists, family and friends, and parishioners. Before the service began, the St. Mungo Singers sang the joyful carol “Resonet in Laudibus”, then candles were lit, as the congregation sang James Quinn’s beautiful “O Light from Light” and the Christmas Introit. Frank Docherty’s lovely setting of the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel, which followed, reminded us of the eternal truths and the purpose of the Incarnation, and the UN hymn for the World Day of Peace turned our thoughts to the birth of the Prince of Peace and the crying need for peace in our world today. We prayed for Bethlehem (as parishioners of St. Leo’s do every day at Mass as they light the candle in their Dove of Peace) and we sang “O Little Town...

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Monsignor Peter O’Farrell RIP

On 19th December 2013, the Archdiocese of Glasgow said farewell to Mgr. Peter O’Farrell. The funeral Mass was concelebrated at St. Flannan’s parish, Kirkintilloch, by Archbishop Tartaglia, Archbishop Emeritus Conti and priests from across the Diocese. Support for the music of the liturgy was provided by members of the St. Mungo Singers. Mgr. O’Farrell’s last parish before his retirement had been St. John of the Cross, Twechar and he had, coincidentally, died on the Feast of St. John of the Cross. His funeral vigil had taken place in St. John’s and in the congregation were local Councillor Jack Young, and parishioners from the parish. In his homily, Archbishop Tartaglia said that it had been a shock to hear that Mgr. O’Farrell had died, although his health had been in decline. He expressed his sympathy to Mgr. O’Farrell’s sisters and family and invited them to take heart from the readings of the liturgy: the first reading (Isaiah 25: 6-9) with the prophecy that God would destroy death for ever, the second reading (Philippians 3:20-21) expressing the hope of heaven which Mgr. Peter had preached and which we pray he will be experiencing now. The Archbishop reflected that Mgr. O’Farrell had been one of the many Irish-born priests who had been so integral to the life of the church in Scotland. He had been born in Greystones, County Wicklow, which is...

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Carols for Peace 2013

Time out for reflection and prayer – a rare thing during the mad scramble which is the run-up to Christmas, but Glaswegians had an opportunity for this on 15th December when the city’s annual Carols for Peace service, organised by Glasgow Churches Together (GCT), took place in the City Chambers. A piper greeted them at the entrance on George Square, against a background of Christmas lights and a skating rink. In the Banqueting Hall, they were met with seasonal gifts of little olive wood Christmas decorations and pressed flower cards from the Holy Land, reminding them of the origins of this service – the twining of Glasgow with Bethlehem and the desire to pray for peace in the Holy Land. The service was supported musically by the St. Mungo Singers, the Parkhead Salvation Army Band, and an instrumental ensemble comprising John Allan, Anne Marie Berrie, Carissa Bovill (there despite having broken a bone in her foot but with elbow crutches decorated with tinsel!), Monica Dyer, Pauline McNicol and Claire O’Neill. The Hall was full by the time the Church and civic leaders entered for the beginning of the service. The City Council was represented by Bailie Gerry Leonard who was taking the place of the Lord Provost who was unwell. The choir led everyone in the opening hymn – the Magnificat – before Bailie Leonard welcomed those present to...

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The Blessing of the Crib 2013

The annual service of the Blessing of the Crib in George Square, Glasgow took place on 4th December. The Lord Provost, Cllr. Sadie Docherty, was joined by representatives of Glasgow Churches Together (GCT), students from St. Andrew’s Secondary School and children from St. Monica’s Primary school, the Alba Brass Quintet and members of the St. Mungo Singers for the service. This year’s event was an emotional one, coming so soon after the helicopter tragedy at the Clutha Vaults in which ten people had died and many others were injured. The weather was cold but dry as the participants gathered around the crib (and others watched from the skating rink) and the Quintet played for the Lord Provost and the guests as they made their way from the City Chambers. Then the St. Andrew’s choir sang “O Come All Ye Faithful” Dr. Laurence Whitley, minister of Glasgow Cathedral, introduced the Lord Provost who, clearly still affected by the recent event, asked everyone present to observe a minute’s silence for those killed or injured at the Clutha Vaults. She acknowledged the courage and kindness of everyone who had assisted on the previous Friday and she expressed her thanks to the emergency services involved. However, she said, this should be a joyful season and it was important to hold the service and to enjoy it. The St. Mungo Singers led people in...

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Some Christmas Liturgical Music

A Christmas Proclamation: to access please click on the file below: Proclamation The Prologue to St John’s Gospel: set by Frank Docherty and published by Kevin Mayhew in Focus on Advent and Christmas. If you download this for liturgical use, and if you have a copyright licence such as Calamus or CCL, please acknowledge composer and publisher in your returns. Prologue     Introit of Christmas: words taken from the ICEL Antiphonal 1998. Set by Gerry Fitzpatrick and available freely here from St Mungo Music. 1 Organ version 2 Choir version Christmas Introit (1) 2 Choir version The Gospel of Christmas ( acc to Luke):   Christmas Communion Antiphon: Text The Missal. Music (c) Gerry Fitzpatrick. St Mungo Music. If you print this for liturgical use, and if you have a copyright licence such as Calamus or CCL, please acknowledge composer and publisher in your returns. Sheet music | audio...

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