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Cantata: Scotus

More than 20 schools celebrated the 7th centenary of the death of Blessed John Duns Scotus with a Cantata (text by Fr. Sean Fitzgerald; music by Fr. Gerry Fitzpatrick) on Wednesday 2nd April in St Mary’s, Calton. Song and dance, pageantry and prayer, humour and piety were the materials out of which the children built their celebration and learned about their very distinguished countryman – famed not only for his wisdom and knowledge, but for the holiness of his life. In the cantata the children became pilgrims, exploring the journey of TheWise Men, and making their way across Europe in the footsteps of Duns Scotus, from Haddington to North Uist, Oxford, Paris and Cologne.Duns Scotus lived in the 13th century, at the time of Wallace and Bruce.Born in Duns, he was educated at Haddington, then at the Temple at Carinish in North Uist in the OuterHebrides, before going on to Oxford, Paris and Cologne – first as student and then as a scholarrenowned throughout Europe. The children were prepared in their own schools, and the teachers were assisted by a CD recorded by Carissa Bovil – it all worked very smoothly and the singing whether together, or by smaller school groups, or soloists such as Brother Joseph, Philip the Fair,the Emperor, the page, and Scotus himself, was outstanding. The beautiful banners,dancers from St Catherine’s,the scenery provided by St Roch’s...

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Lourdes Hospitalite

In February we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Lourdes Hospitalité in the Archdiocese which gave us another reason to celebrate Lourdes this year. The Hospitalité is a charitable organisation committed to assisting the sick and handicapped of the Annual Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. They welcome new members and, as Elizabeth McQuade of the Hospitalité told us, membership is open to anyone over 18 who is willing to undertake the objectives of the Hospitalité which are: Commitment to promote the message Our Lady entrusted to Bernadette. In Lourdes, to care for the sick and handicapped of the pilgrimage and to do tasks required by the Hospitalité de Notre Dame de Lourdes. Strengthen the sense of community amongst its members, support them in their Christian life, their responsibility within the Church and their devotion to Mary the Mother of God. The important aspects of membership (whether as a Doctor, Nurse, Brancardier or Helper) are service, friendship, celebration and commitment. The celebration of their 60th Anniversary took the form of a Vespers of Our Lady of Lourdes in St. Joseph’s, Tollcross. The music of the service reflected the Marian theme, opening with “Alma Redemptoris” by Palestrina, followed by the modern hymn “Mary Full of Grace” to the tune of O Sanctissima. After Psalms 121 and 126, the Magnificat was sung to the tune of Amazing Grace and the...

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The White Mass: 2008

In February we had a new national celebration of service for those involved in the health care professions and voluntary care sector. This first holding of what is intended to be an annual service, the White Mass, was held in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, with Cardinal Keith O’Brien presiding and Archbishop Conti as Principal Celebrant, in the company of three other Scottish Bishops and a congregation drawn from the various health care sectors. In his homily, Bishop Logan reminded the congregation that they were asked to be like Abraham in answering the call of God. He paid tribute to those who work in the caring professions which had particular relevance in this the 150th anniversary of the Apparitions at Lourdes which is a living sanctuary of prayer, penance and loving service to one another. Among the music of the Mass, the opening hymn, the Hymn of St. Columba with its prayers for blessing, protection and the encircling love of God, and Peter McGrail’s Peace Song were particularly resonant for those whose vocation is to work with the...

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Mass of our Celtic Roots

January finished with the Annual Mass of our Celtic Roots in St. Aloysius Garnethill. This service which takes place during the Celtic Connections Festival, has now become part of the “fringe” events and attracted a capacity congregation. The musical support came from a great mix of instrumentalists, including Claire O’Neill of Aisling Gheal (violin), some of the Southside Fiddlers (violin, cello and accordion), Scott Glasgow (pipes), Carissa Bovill (violin and clarsach), Theresa Irving (clarsach) Eddie Foley (violin), Anne Marie Berrie (guitar), who blended together to produce a warm and enthusing atmosphere which encouraged all present to sing. The vocal support came from the St. Mungo Singers and the choir of St. Mungo’s, Alloa. The music of the Mass reflects the Celtic theme. In addition to more familiar pieces, such as Ps. 62 to the tune “Iona” and “We cannot tell” to the Londonderry Air, Chilcott’s setting of “Be Thou My vision” was sung by the St. Mungo Singers and “Bhan-Rhighinn Nan Eilean” by Sineag MacIntyre from South Uist, a 4th Year student at the RSAMD. The readings, as in previous years, were in English, Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaelic, and a welcome to the service in all three languages was also given, courtesy of Fr. Noel Colford (who presided), Fr. Noel Barry, and Fr. Angus MacDonald. Fr. MacDonald, in his homily linked up the threads of music, Education Sunday...

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Vita Kentigerni or the Life of St Mungo

In the 12th century Bishop Jocelyn of Glasgow invited Jocelyn, a monk of Furness in northern England, to write a proper life of St Mungo, or Kentigern, since the sources for a life of the saint were in some disarray! In 2008 the City of Glasgow was able to present a facsimile copy of this Vita Kentigerni (courtesy of the City of Dublin) to the Mitchell Library, the University of Glasgow, the Archdiocese of Glasgow and Glasgow Cathedral. The book was available to the public in the Mitchell Library on the Saturday nearest the traditional feast day of St Mungo, 13th January. As well as excerpts from the Life (read in the original Latin by Archbishop Conti and in the new English translation by Dr. Laurence Whitley, the Minister of Glasgow Cathedral), there was appropriate music in the form of the plainchant versicle and doxology from the Office of St. Kentigern and the Glasgow anthem Let Glasgow Flourish, sung by a group of the St. Mungo Singers. This may have a very unusual style of presentation for the Mitchell and its users but they took part with enthusiasm and the City are to be congratulated on a well-organised and enjoyable event. Copies of the Life have also been given to Glasgow Cathedral and the Archdiocese. During the ceremony in the Mitchell the hope was expressed that that this would...

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