Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rolling Up our Sleeves in Edinburgh

For a few days, we've sung in the evening at special liturgical events – Greyfriars Kirk and, gratefully, St. Catherine's Convent – where we were hosted by these wonderful communities.
But on Saturday last, we had the chance to spend hours with musicians from around the entire countryside, bringing our repertoire to many, many people.

A working afternoon with this ensemble is something wonderful to behold.  It gives us a long amount of time to crack open issues, step off the track, talk about both the joys and the challenges of the work of liturgical music.  And for churches in Scotland and Ireland, it also gives us the opportunity to share repertoire.

As they did all week, St. Joseph's in Broomhouse, Edinburgh, hosted our labors.  The ladies of the parish, whom I swear have done nothing but camp out at church all week long, were there to feed the masses and keep the tea brewing.

The Choir fanned out and sat next to their Scottish attendees.  We created an assembly of about 200 people, and then the work began – psalm repertoire, settings of the Mass, music for eucharistic celebrations.  Hands would fly up left and right, remarks made, questions discussed, some answered.  And by the end of the day, many people went home with a sense of new perspectives – and perhaps some renewed vigor as well.

We have much to be grateful for, working with all of these folk assembled by the liturgical offices and volunteers in Edinburgh.

Only one day left now, in this very old city.  It will be a day of Eucharist and a day of ecumenical celebration, joining hands with friends from the Presbyterian church.

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