I should have said so on Sunday, but I forgot. I’ve lived in Scotland for six months and one day. No wonder I’m starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of things. Mostly.
The Renaissance Group sang in St Monan’s parish church for St Patrick’s Day. It was pointed out that we were singing English songs on an Irish holiday in a Scottish church, with half of the French department singing in the choir. St Monan’s really is a quaint little church. It’s the closest to the sea of any church in Scotland. It was really fascinating to drive up, walk across the cemetery, turn the corner and there was the sea. You could hear the waves crashing. The church had blue doors, and the second doors had portholes. Two wooden ships hang from the ceiling. The acoustics are fantastic. The choir had twice as many people as were in the audience, but that didn’t matter. It was one of those times where I worshiped as I performed. I hope those listening were as encouraged as I was.
I learned a new hymn (as what usually happens; all the hymns here are new to me) by St Patrick: “St Patrick’s Breastplate.” The link has a horrible midi playing, but at least you get to hear the tune. All of the lyrics are good but I loved the third verse:
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.
The poetry is incredibly vivid now that I live on the edge of the North Sea. I had a clear image in mind as I sang. On a similar note, I’ve been reading The Bruce, in which the Bishop of St Andrews is a primary character. The text suddenly becomes alive as I read how the Bishop hosted James Douglas in his castle when sitting literally less than 100 meters away from the castle ruins.
Only Americans wore green today. I was amused that half my Latin class wore green the day before St Patrick’s Day, and then none of us wore green today. Well, my sweater had green stripes. Happy St Patrick’s Day!
(I’m incredibly tired, and thus apologize for a not very eloquent post. Ah well. Sleep beckons.)