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This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad!

We boarded the bus this morning to sing at the Sunday Eucharist of
Saint Patrick’s Church, Greystones in the Parish of Wicklow.

On the way up we were impressed by the Great Sugar Loaf mountain and the beauty of the countryside.

Upon arrival we were met by the Rector, The Reverend Canon David Mungavin who welcomed us warmly. We set up quickly and prepared to sing the service.

A beautiful church full of beautiful and welcoming people. At coffee hour they shared their joy as it was one of the largest gatherings to date coming out of the pandemic. Coffee, tea and fresh baked scones for all.

We offered this morning:
SIMPLE GIFTS…….Shaker song
THE VIRGIN MARY HAD A BABY BOY…….arr. Robert De Cormier (1922-2017)
STEAL AWAY…….African-American Spiritual harmonized and arranged by H.T. Burleigh (1866-1949)
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…….John Stainer (1840-1901)
UBI CARITAS…….Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)

The guest preacher, The Venerable Gordon Linney gave a beautiful sermon engaging all and speaking about how we pray through music. Asking us to turn away from greed he spoke with such strength about the power of prayer and about how living in the love and peace of Jesus transfigures us and leads us all do our part to heal the world and bring everyone together. He led us through a study of portions of hymn texts for the service: Dear Lord and Father of mankind, A setting of text by Saint Francis of Assisi, Lord of the Church by Timothy Dudley-Smith and O Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end. We were inspired.

After such a spirit filled morning making new friends and worshipping together the choir boarded our bus to visit the glen of two lakes, or gleann da loch. The monastery founded by St. Kevin goes back a thousand years, a part of Ireland’s Ancient East. We were treated to vistas of beautiful green countryside, sheep, and the Irish Sea.

We saw the Sanctuary Cross at the entrance gate. Glendalough Cathedral and the Round Tower of Glendalough, one of the best preserved and beautiful of Ireland’s ancient towers. It originally had a bell. Our tour guide Lisa was very kind and had 13 choristers join hands to surround the tower to measure the base.

She then unlocked St. Kevin’s Church and we were allowed the privilege to sing there. We offered the setting of the Irish Blessing Dr. Barry Rose made for us a couple of years ago. A joyful and moving moment.

After a hunt for St. Kevin’s cave and a lively walk to the upper lake and a stop at the ice cream stand we were back on the bus and headed to the hotel for a free evening.

Tomorrow we leave Dublin and head to Belfast.
A good and well spent day.