Glasgow is marking the 14th centenary of the feast of its patron, St Mungo, (also known as St Kentigern) this week, with a festival devoted to the saint. Events got underway at the weekend with the reading of the Life of the Saint at the Mitchell Library and an ecumenical vespers in Glasgow Cathedral.
On Thursday, Archbishop Mario Conti will give the inaugural 'Molendinar Lecture' - which is planned to be an annual event, on the theme 'Glasgow: A Tale of Two Cathedrals'.
At the weekend there will be a special Ballet at St Enoch’s Shopping Centre. Sixteen dancers aged 10 - 16, will be depicting the spirit of the city in music and dance, and highlighting St Mungo’s coat of arms and his return to Glasgow from Hoddom after exile on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 January from 12 noon - 4pm on both days.
This original concept especially devised for the event will be an eye catching and beautifully choreographed performance which will wow shoppers and passers by as they view the uplifting and inspirational performance and hear the tranquil music from Vanessa Mae’s 'A Little Scottish Fantasy' concluding with Handel’s 'For Unto Us A Child Is Born.'
The modern symphonic dance piece featuring the city’s armorial coat of arms - The bird, bell, fish and tree - will be a collage of the characters and the usually unseen 'spirit of Glasgow.' Central to the performance will be 'The Seal Of The City' a metal movable sculpture commissioned by Visual Statement and designed by Andy Scott. The dancers will dance on, inside and around this structure to add an extra dimension to the performance.
Archbishop Conti will concelebrate a special Mass with priests of the Archdiocese, at St Mungo’s Church, Townhead at 7pm on Friday, the Feast on St Mungo. The Gospel will be sung, and the music will be led by the St Mungo Singers, school groups, piper, harpist and ensemble.
The Opening Prayer of the Mass of St Mungo has a particular resonance for Glaswegians reflecting on the history of their ancient city:
‘Lord our God, you chose St Kentigern as bishop
to spread the light of faith by the preaching of your Word:
grant our prayer, that we who celebrate his memory may always be true to his teaching
and so grow daily in faith and holiness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.’
For more information see: www.stmungofestival.com/