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