Despite the weather, the strikes and the traffic problems, Glasgow Churches Together celebrated St. Andrew’s Day with an evening service in St. Andrews’s Cathedral. The congregation, including representatives from the member churches of GCT and the Leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson,was welcomed by piper Jacqueline Riley outside the Cathedral and instrumentalists John Allen, Carissa Bovill and Clare O’Neill inside.
Before the service, the St. Mungo Singers sang the lovely Iona setting of Psalm 62 before leading the congregation in singing the simple evening hymn, “Creator of the Stars of Night” as Archbishop Conti led church representatives to the sanctuary, and the altar candles were lit.
After the Invocation and Doxology, Des McLean and members of the St. Andrews Brass Emsemble provided the music for the rousing Vaughan Williams setting of “All People that on Earth”, a warm and uniting sound for a cold night. The Psalms for the Evening Prayer were then proclaimed in song: Psalms 115 and 125. The Canticle was the Fitzpatrick setting of Stephen Smyth’s Canticle from Philippians 2.
The reflection was given by the Moderator of Glasgow Presbytery, Rev. Sandra Black. She said that we don’t know much about St. Andrew. He doesn’t get much mention in the Gospels but he is shown as someone who brings people to Jesus – no small or bad thing! She then asked “who has been Andrew for you in your life? Who has made him more real or more accessible for you?” and invited those present to give thanks for such people and be blessed by their existence.
As the congregation meditated on her words, the instrumentalists played quietly. The choir then sang the responsory before leading the singing of the Magnificat in the hymn version “Tell out My Soul”. The Intercessions for the country and its citizens followed. The congregation then joined in singing the Lord’s Prayer.
Before the prayer and blessing for St. Andrew’s Day, the St. Mungo Singers sang the Casciolini motet “Istorum est enim”, a piece suited for the feastday of an Apostle who was also a martyr. The service finished with the well-loved hymn “When Christ our Lord to Andrew Cried”.
The Cathedral community provided hospitality afterwards in the porch of the Cathedral, giving the congregation the opportunity to chat before going out into the night.