Concert at St Fin Barre’s celebrates 150th anniversary of cathedral's consecration

The Dean of Cork, the Very Rev Nigel Dunne, preached at the service.
Concert at St Fin Barre’s celebrates 150th anniversary of cathedral's consecration

During the service. Picture: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal

Last Sunday, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, with a Patronal Festival choral evensong, ended a year of celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of its consecration.

Present were members of the cathedral chapter (canons), ecumenical guests, and representatives of the defence forces, led by Mary Rose Desmond, the deputy lord mayor, and An Taoiseach Micheál Martin. 

An Taoiseach and the Dean of Cork chatting after the service. Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotogloba
An Taoiseach and the Dean of Cork chatting after the service. Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotogloba

The Dean of Cork, the Very Rev Nigel Dunne, preached at the service, which began with him welcoming, via video link, Nicholas O’Neill, the winning composer of the 150th anniversary composition competition. 

Director of music, Peter Stobart, then discussed the new setting of the evening canticles, ‘Magnificat’ and ‘Nunc Dimittis on B flat’, with director of music, Peter Stobart.

These were premiered during the service by the cathedral choir, accompanied on the organ by assistant director of music, Robbie Carroll. 

Some of the Lay Vicars Choral singing at the service Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal
Some of the Lay Vicars Choral singing at the service Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal

Recorded greetings were received from the archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland, the Most Rev John McDowell, and from the archbishop of Dublin (and former dean of Cork), the Most Rev Michael Jackson.

The Dean of Cork, Very Rev. Nigel Dunne addresses the congregation. Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal
The Dean of Cork, Very Rev. Nigel Dunne addresses the congregation. Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal

In his sermon, the dean said: 

“On 21 January, 1862, following years of debate about the unsuitability and poor repair of the 18th century cathedral and its medieval tower, the chapter of St Fin Barre’s … resolved to ‘… raise a monument of Christian zeal, love, and piety to the Almighty giver of all our blessings … and thus leave a witness to the faith, liberality, and self-denial of our present age, to our children’s children’ … although we might be a bit wary of words like zeal and piety nowadays, I think we are in a very different space, one where words like inclusion, welcome, love, community, outreach, prayer, sanctuary, and mindfulness have all come to the fore, not least in relation to the way we express our Christian life and witness here at St Fin Barre’s in the 21st century.”

Colonel Ray O’Lehan, Executive Officer of 1 Brigade, Army (left) and Commodore Michael Malone, Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Service (centre) with the Dean of Cork Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal
Colonel Ray O’Lehan, Executive Officer of 1 Brigade, Army (left) and Commodore Michael Malone, Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Service (centre) with the Dean of Cork Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal

Pointing to the vision for the cathedral, the dean went on to say:

“Our task, in this generation, here at Saint Fin Barre’s, is to fling wide the doors of this holy sanctuary and offer it as a place of prayer, of refuge, of nourishment, of friendship, and of unconditional, inclusive love.”

A recording of the service can be found on the ‘Live’ tab of the cathedral’s YouTube channel.

An exhibition of rare photographs of the construction of the cathedral, and of memorabilia donated by the public (deferred due to pandemic restrictions), will be staged in the ambulatory of the cathedral before the end of the year.

L-R An Taoiseach, the Dean of Cork and Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Rose Desmond after the service. Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal
L-R An Taoiseach, the Dean of Cork and Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Rose Desmond after the service. Photo: Eoin Murphy @artfotoglobal

Services Tomorrow:

Dedication Festival, 11:15am. Choral eucharist (sung by the Lay Vicars Choral), in-person (100 people max); livestreamed. Celebrant: Rev Ted Ardis (dean’s vicar). Preacher: Very Rev. Nigel Dunne (dean of Cork)

3:30pm. Choral evensong (sung by the Lay Vicars’ Choral), in-person (100 people max), livestreamed. 

Livestream services via corkcathedral.webs.com or the cathedral's YouTube channel.

Orders of service can also be found via a link on the Cathedral website’s homepage.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more