The final service for the Mungo Festival was the annual Mass of St. Mungo held in St. Mungo’s Townhead on the Feast of St. Mungo, 13th March. Archbishop Tartaglia as principal celebrant was joined by members of the Passionist community as well as priests from the Diocese and parishioners. There were also representatives from St. Mungo Primary School and St. Mungo’s Academy, and the Knights of St. Columba.
The music for the Mass was provided by the St. Mungo Singers, instrumentalists John Allan, Clare O’Neill, Monica Dyer, Pauline McNichol, and a quartet from St.Andrew’s & St. Bride’s Secondary, East Kilbride (Matthew Deighan,Calum Hopkins, Andrew Lochrin, and Alexander Stewart). The instrumentalists and quartet played before the service began, setting a lovely atmosphere.
The Mass began with the song for the Year of Mercy –“ You should show mercy like the Father”. Then the primary school children sang the traditional St. Mungo Rhyme “This is the tree that never grew”, with appropriate actions. The whole service was filled with music, from the sung Kyrie, Gloria, Psalm (Ps.95) and gospel acclamation, through the sung Dialogue Creed, Sanctus and other Mass parts, and more hymns reflecting the feast. These included a hymn taken from the St Mungo Cantata which tells St. Mungo’s story and the Glasgow Anthem “Let Glasgow Flourish”.
The St. Mungo Academy pupils led the congregation in prayers for the city and its citizens as well as people in need throughout the world and the young quartet added further musical embellishments to the celebration.
Archbishop Tartaglia in his homily welcomed everyone to the feast which he was glad to be able to celebrate, having just recovered from his indisposition earlier in the week. Addressing in particular the children present, he reflected on the alternative translation of “Glascu” – “dear family” – which he described as a lovely aspiration and something for us all to live up to.
The feast of St. Mungo, he said, reminds us of the city’s Christian past. Its Christian history was important, indeed essential, not just for the city’s past but also for its future. It is centred on Jesus Christ in whom all history is centred. It is not just something to be spoken of to our contemporaries who may not believe, but something to be lived. In this way we nourish our city.
Turning to the words of Isaiah 52 in the First Reading of the Mass – “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of one who brings good news”, he reminded the congregation that this was what St. Mungo had done for this part of Scotland. We are now called in this 21st century to be servants of our city, he said, and invited by the Lord to “cast out into the deep” and “not be afraid” even as he had invited St. Peter in the Gospel reading.
The celebration ended with thanks from Parish Priest Fr. John Craven to everyone who had helped to support it, particularly the children, to which the congregation responded with applause. Then it was time to enjoy St. Mungo’s well-known and generous hospitality.