Cantatas seem to have originated with St Philip Neri’s efforts to enliven religious instruction. He made the lesson and the stories memorable by clothing them in song and dance, in juggling, in recitation, reading, with prayers suited to their age, and with whatever other participative resources could be found. Since the 1980s lots of Glasgow Schools have used the Cantatas as an imaginative and enjoyable educational tool so that pupils learned about St Andrew, St Columba, St Patrick, St Constantine, St Ninian, St Brigid, Our Lady and St Joseph, King David, Jesus’ Journey to Jerusalem, St Julie, St Paul, and St Mungo.
This year ‘The Legend of St Mungo’ will take place in Glasgow Cathedral (where it was first launched in 1990) on Tuesday 13thNovember. There are so many participants that we are not promoting attendance (this is not the Kelvin Hall where we performed the Cantata with 68 schools and lots of people). This Cantata was written by David Morris, son of the former Minister of Glasgow Cathedral, and Gerry Fitzpatrick, and it involves 21 schools (with about 600 children), and an ensemble from 2nd Year BEd Music students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Glasgow and some musician friends.
We are glad to welcome the Lord Provost Cllr Sadie Docherty and other representatives of the Churches and the city who will be greeted by the Piper as they approach the Cathedral. The Cantata is sponsored by Glasgow Churches Together and receives the financial support of the Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust. It takes place within a little service during which we pray ‘Let Glasgow flourish’ and, with the ‘Pilgrim Song’ it also draws attention to the ‘St Mungo Trail’ launched last year by the City of Glasgow and by Dumfries and Galloway. With St Paul’s Primary School ‘Glasgow Song’ it lets the children express the natural Glaswegian love of the city. The schools will make a small donation towards this year’s charity, the St Mungo Day Centre which is close by.
‘Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word.
Let Glasgow FLourish by the praising of his name.’