Added on 04/01/2014
Saturday 4 January 2014
Preaching in St Patrick’s
Tomorrow (Sunday) the Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Gregory Dunstan, will be the preacher in St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, so beginning the annual rotation of preachers in the cathedral for 2014. Each year the annual ‘Rotation of Residence’, together with a list of the cathedral’s officers, is printed (on St Patrick’s blue paper, of course!) and posted and distributed. Each of the dignitaries (dean, precentor, chancellor and treasurer) is in residence for two separate weeks each year when they preach twice on the Sunday of their week of residence, and the same is the case for most of the 24 prebendaries. The Dean, by tradition preaches on Christmas Day and Easter Day and the Archbishop of Dublin, as Prebendary of Cualan, is listed to preach on Whit Sunday (8 June) and the 3rd Sunday of Advent (14 December).
Preaching is taken seriously in St Patrick’s and it is the only Church of Ireland cathedral which maintains the pattern of Sunday sermons at both the morning service and at Evensong. In earlier days many churchmen had their sermons published not only to spread the word but also in hopes of promoting their careers. Sermons at important events such as the commemoration of the 1641 Rebellion and the commemoration of Charles I, King and Martyr, were often printed in pamphlet form and these have proved to be valuable historical resources. In St Patrick’s in 1690 Dean William King preached before King William III at a special day of thanksgiving for the victory at the Battle of the Boyne, Dean Patrick Delany preached in 1720 to the undergraduates of Trinity College who regularly attended the services in St Patrick’s, and Dean Jonathan Swift preached in 1726 on the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I. A rare unpublished sermon by Dean Thomas Lindsay, preaching in St Patrick’s on the death of Queen Mary II in 1695, reveals that the cathedral was hung with black, perhaps the first occasion when such mourning was observed. In 1865 the sermons of both the Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Chenevix Trench, and the Bishop of Meath, Lord Plunket, preached at the re–opening of St Patrick’s after the Guinness restoration, were published.
More recently two deans have published selections of their St Patrick’s sermons. Memoir in Sermon by the late Dr Maurice Stewart was published in 2000 and in 2008 Dr Robert MacCarthy’s A Year of Sermons in St Patrick’s appeared.
Today (Sunday) at 3.15pm, there will be an Epiphany Carol Service in St Patrick’s cathedral, sung by the Cathedral Choir, directed by the Organist and Master of the Choristers, Stuart Nicholson, and at 4.30pm David Leigh, the Cathedral’s Assistant Organist, will play La Nativité Du Seigneur by Olivier Messiaen.
On Monday the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, will mark the Feast of the Epiphany with school visits while in Co. Fermanagh Eoin Parkinson will present a study of the Ardess medieval graveyard in the Ardess Parish Centre.
From Tuesday to Thursday a Continuing Ministerial Education Conference will be held in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute where among the speakers will be the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, and the Bishop of Down & Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller. Students on the part time MTh course will begin a study weekend in the Theological Institute next Friday.
On Thursday there will be a lunch time Healing Service in St Macartin’s cathedral, Enniskillen.
Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’