Saturday, June 20, 2015

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Ireland

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Saint Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer
The prayer is a lot longer and I loved it when I first learned of it. I have recited it ever since , these last decade or two, whenever I feel like the world is pushing in on me too much and I can’t seem to keep the weariness at bay.  It’s not my first go to prayer but it’s one of my later ones that comfort me in time of trouble.
Laura and I were at the National Gallery of Ireland and I thought we’d walk over to St. Patrick’s, a fair hike, to see what time tomorrow’s service was.  I’d not thought it would be open but I didn’t want to miss Sunday Service because of not getting the time right.  As it was the Cathedral was open.  So Laura and I were able to walk about with  the very well worthwhile 7.50 Euro Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin guide book.
Without it we’d not have known that Jonathan Swift of Gulliver’s Travels fame was a doctor of divinity and the dean of this cathedral.  Also we learned that the Flags in the choir represented members of the Illustrious Order of Knights of Saint Patrick founded by George III in 1783 and modelled on the Order of Garter in England.  With the foundation of Ireland as a Free State in 1922 the order ceased to function.
We’d also not known that the Guinness family were great benefactors and had provided the underwritten the Iveagh Window, depicting Charity.   In 1864  Guiness commissioned the Caen Stone pulpit with Irish marble from Cannaught at the base in memory of Dean Pakenham.
But the best,  was learning about the Door of Reconciliation,  that the Fitzgerald’s had fought the Butlers and when the going was bad fled to the church for sanctuary.  There was agreement that the Fitsgeralds could come out, however there was fear of treachery.  So Gerald Fitzgerald had a hole cut in the door, stuck his arm through and  proclaimed to the Butlers that they had two options, “either to cut off his arm or shake his hand.  The two families shook hands.
There was a World War I monument and a wooden case containing 8 volumes of the Memorial Records.  One on display listed 50,000 Irish men who’d died in WWI.   Laura and I sat for prayer in the Lady Chapel which had once been called the French Chapel as it was used by the Huguenots (French Protestant refugees) from 1666 to 1816.
We will be returning for the 9 am service tomorrow.
DSCN4936IMG 9451IMG 9453DSCN4937IMG 9454DSCN4938DSCN4939DSCN4940DSCN4942DSCN4943DSCN4946DSCN4950DSCN4952West Window, Life of St. PatrickDSCN4953DSCN4954DSCN4955Stone of St. Patrick’s well before cathedralDSCN4958DSCN4957DSCN4960DSCN4965DSCN4966DSCN4967DSCN4968100 year old needleworkDSCN4991DSCN4969DSCN4972DSCN4973DSCN4976DSCN4975DSCN4977DSCN4978DSCN4980Knights of St. PatrickDSCN4981DSCN4982Reconciliation DoorDSCN4985IMG 9457DSCN4993DSCN4984DSCN4994DSCN4995DSCN4999DSCN5000Jonathan SwiftDSCN5002IMG 9458DSCN4998

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

happy father's day to you bill
and God Bless you

best wishes to you and laura
on your journey to Ireland