The celebrations marking the 2nd Millennium of St Paul began on June 29th throughout the world. Here in the Archdiocese there were discussions on how to celebrate the year, and plans so far included an ecumenical Vespers of St Paul at St Kessog’s, Balloch, at 3 pm on Sunday June 29th to launch the Year. Fr. Sean Fitzgerald will welcome the St Mungo Singers and instrumentalists along with representatives of other churches. A booklet and CD with some of the ‘Canticles’ or hymns which are quoted in the Letters of St Paul will be available in September, and next year there will be a ‘St Paul’ Cantata for schools.

Amongst others, Dr Noel S Donnelly, Brother Stephen E Smyth and Mgr Gerry Fitzpatrick have been working on and using the Pauline Canticles for some time. Isn’t it remarkable that Christians in the middle of the 1st century A.D. could express their faith and hope in the words of the hymn – or Canticle – quoted here:

We bless the God and Father Words © Stephen Smyth taken from Ephesians 1: 3-10 (Tune; Bunessan (as in Christ be beside me) here is also a new tune by Gerry Fitzpatrick available from St Mungo Music.)

We bless the God and Father of Jesus for he has blessed us freely in Christ. He chose to lavish spiritual blessings from highest heaven. all this through Christ.

Long before founding all of creation, God made his plan and chose us in Christ, that we be holy, blameless and loving, children adopted. All this through Christ.

God’s will is always that we might love him, source of all graces, witnessed in Christ; love manifested, gift of redemption, pardon for sinners. All this through Christ.