The St Mungo Singers enjoyed their annual pilgrimage / day out on 5th June. We set out for Dunoon and Rothesay with the sun shining brightly and the birds of Dumbreck enjoying their songs.
The first stop was made at the ferry in Gourock and we were carried across in a calm sea to Dunoon. Waiting for us was Fr Sandy Cully and parishioners who gave us a warm welcome. We had scheduled the ‘Morning Prayer of St Mun’ for 11.30 and by the time we were ready to begin some 30 of the parishioners had gathered to take part.
W e began our Morning Prayer by singing ‘In the name of God’ and after a welcome by Fr Sandy, who gave us a short biography of St Mun, monk and abbot, (also known as St Munda at the Kirk in Ballachulish) we prayed together:
“Loving Father, fill us with your presence As we gather in the name of your Son. Bless those who would like to be with us today, But are unable to be here. Bless us, and the priest and community at St Mun’s, so that we who share Mun’s faith may be encouraged by his example and by the friendship we experience. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
In holiday mode, we sang Ps 66 and some verses from a Canticle from the Letter to the Ephesians (to the tune ‘Bunessan’), listened to a passage of scripture and concluded with the Lord’s Prayer and a version of a blessing from the Gaelic – via Carmina Gadelica:
May the strength of God pilot us. May the power of God preserve us. May the wisdom of God instruct us. May the hand of God protect us. May the way of God direct us. May the shield of God defend us. May the host of God guard us, against the snares of the evil one and the temptations of he world. May Christ be with us Christ above us. Christ in us Christ before us. May thy salvation, O Lord, Be always ours This day and for evermore.
The coach then took us over the hills to Colintraive and the little ferry to Bute where more warm hospitality awaited us, from Fr. Michael Hutson and the parishioners of St. Andrew’s. Fr. Hutson, that canny man, had “coincidentally” invited us to come on the day of the parish fete and as the St. Mungo Singers have never been reluctant to support a good cause (or indulge in retail therapy), both parish and choir enjoyed themselves, with several choir members winning prizes in the Tombola. We were then given food and refreshments to keep us going until the Vigil Mass at 6 pm.
Before Mass, the choir sang a number of motets, including “God be in my Head”, and rehearsed with the congregation. The opening hymn was “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord”. The opportunity was taken to introduce music which might be used at the Papal Mass at Bellahouston including Ps.22, the Gospel Acclamation “Go, make disciples” (settings by Fr. Fitzpatrick) the Agnus Dei from the new MacMillan Newman Mass, and the Mother MacKillop hymn “Lord, I give my life” by Peter Rose and Anne Conlon.
Regretfully, we did not get much opportunity to chat with parishioners after Mass, as our bus was waiting to take us to the ferry to head to Wemyss Bay. The renowned St. Mungo Singers Social Committee organisation kicked in on our arrival, as the local “chippy” had been telephoned with an order for fish and chips.
The locals were perhaps a bit bemused to see a line-up of people stretching out the door of the premises but we were served in record time and had the opportunity to relax with our suppers in the late sunshine, finishing our trip in the time honoured Glasgow way. The local gulls evidently recognised the signs and hung around patiently to see what they would get!
Then it was on our way and back to Glasgow to recover for rehearsal the next evening.