St Mungo’s feastday, 13th January, was marked by an ecumenical service in Glasgow Cathedral, involving singers, musicians, dancers and a full congregation, including representatives from local and national government as well as the various churches in Glasgow.
Representing the Lord Provost, Bailie Gordon Matheson opened the proceedings with the proclamation ‘Let Glasgow flourish!’ and the gathering rose to sing Brother Stephen Smyth’s hymn set to ‘Highland Cathedral’, before the Minister, the Rev Laurence Whitley, welcomed everyone to the celebration.
It was an evening devoted to acknowledging God’s grace seen in the life of the 6th-7th century figure of St Mungo, and yet while it was prayerful it was also filled with wonder and joy – seen in the mystical beauty of Psalm 62/63, the country dancing of the children from St Catherine’s Primary, the story of the Bird, the Tree, the Fish and the bell (from the city coat of arms) related by children of the High School of Glasgow, the Gospel story of the great catch of fish, the thoughtful and encouraging homily of Archbishop Conti, the delicacy of Christina Sweeney-Baird’s Harp, the breadth of intentions expressed in the intercessions, the loyalty and affection for Glasgow and its people expressed in the Glasgow Anthem ‘Let Glasgow Flourish’ led by the St Mungo Singers and warmly supported by the whole congregation.
The Rutherglen Salvation Army, led by Donald Orr, played with its customary sensitivity and richness and the service concluded with Noel Donnell’s lovely setting of Newman’s prayer.
Bailie Matheson then laid the city’s bouquet of flowers on St Mungo’s Tomb in the crypt as a symbol of the ongoing esteem and affection felt even today for the city founder. All in all, the service and the support and attention given to it, can be seen as a sign of the times, a token of Glasgow’s awareness of its long and distinguished Christian history.
Part of the St Mungo Bookmark marking St Mungo’s Day held in Glasgow Cathedral on January 13th 2008
as we honour St Mungo,
we pray for the city he founded and its people.
Make us glad to inherit the Gospel
and to be ourselves
the living stones
building up your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.