In 20/20 hindsight I should have gone to Glendalough and Kilkenny today! If was a fine day in Dublin, cloudy from time to time, but no rain. I attended Christ Church this morning again, but was disappointed that the choir is now off for the summer. I guess I was lucky to hear them last week. I made a point today of purchasing a couple of their CD’s. I had a nice lunch of Irish lamb stew after church and then walked down to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The two churches are only a few blocks apart.
On my way back from Belfast on Wednesday, I was sitting with a gentleman who was a member of St. Patrick’s and a volunteer docent. He commented that most Americans who came to visit St. Patrick’s believed it to be a Roman Catholic Church (it’s Church of Ireland, as is Christ Church). You can check out the history of the Church of Ireland in one of my blogs on Unpuzzling Ireland’s Church Records. The most famous Dean of St. Parick’s Cathedral was Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, who is buried there.
Anyway, I finally got to hear Choral Evensong. This is an evening prayer service in the Anglican church, which can be said by the priest, or sung by the choir. Most of the large Anglican cathedrals/churches have a long tradition of choir schools where boys are trained to sing. They attend classes in the school and are available to sing all of the traditional services in the church. The problem with traveling during the summer is it’s vacation time and therefore the services are frequently said, rather than sung, unless there is a visiting choir. The service today was sung by the Cathedral Close Choir of adults.
On Thursday, I’ll be joining up with a choir from Connecticut (where I used to live), and singing at the cathedrals of Canterbury, St. Albans, Wells, Worcester and Salisbury in England. For eight days we’ll be singing Evensong each afternoon as well as Matins on Sunday and a noon concert at Canterbury. This won’t be my first trip to Canterbury...in 2001 and 2004 our choir sang as a residency choir for a week in Canterbury. We stayed inside the close (the walls that surround the cathedral) in the house used during the year for the boy’s choir. It was a great experience.
So much for my weekend off from genealogy. I now need to prepare for my last two days of research in Ireland.