St. Mungo Vespers
It was with great joy that we relaunched our St Mungo Festival services in person after the lockdown, and even greater joy to do so with a new service – a Vespers for St Mungo in St Andrew’s Cathedral on his feast day 13 January.
Canon Andrew McKenzie presided at the service, with musical support provided by the St Mungo Singers, and Dr Noel Donnelly on harp. The congregation was swelled by the presence of a busload of parishioners from Sacred Heart parish, Cumbernauld, who were having an evening out in Glasgow and decided the most appropriate way to begin it was with attendance at the Vespers – what a great idea! We were also really pleased to have the City Council represented by the attendance of Bailie Scanlan.
The service followed the traditional format of lighting of candles, as the choir led the singing of James Quinn’s O Light from Light, two psalms ( Psalms 23 and 111) and a canticle from the Book of the Apocalypse, scripture reading from 1 Peter (followed by harp meditation) and Responsory and Magnificat. There were intercessions for the church, the city and the world, before the congregation prayed the Our Father and the blessing was spoken and sung. The service ended with what might be considered the Glasgow anthem Let Glasgow Flourish and its verse from Psalm 121.
In his reflection, Canon McKenzie asked why this day was important, particularly as the details of St Mungo’s life were sketchy, but this was a man whose days were given to Christ and we should reconnect with his example. The candles on the altar represented each of us. Mungo preached the Gospel and baptised many into the faith. In keeping his memory, may his mission be kept alive in us.