Dublin & Glendalough 800 is the celebration of our two dioceses’ eight centuries together. The dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough were officially united in 1216 and throughout 2016 and 2017 a series of events has been taking place to mark this milestone anniversary.
The celebrations have sought to bring together a range of strands of diocesan life from history and education, to music and singing. Children from diocesan schools were involved in the launch and the celebrations have also included visitors from dioceses overseas to which Dublin & Glendalough have strong links.
Almost 500 children made history on October 14 2016 when they helped launch the commemoration at the annual Diocesan Service for Primary and Junior Schools in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. The theme of the service was Living History, Living God and the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson was joined by the Anglican Bishop of Spain, the Rt Revd Carlos López–Lozano and the Anglican Bishop of Lusitania (Portugal), the Rt Revd José Jorge de Pina Cabral. Both dioceses have their roots in the Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough.
The highlight of the 2016 celebrations was a cluster of events which took place in Christ Church Cathedral during the Octave of St Laurence O’Toole (November 13 to 20). Laurence O’Toole is the patron saint of Dublin and was Abbot of Glendalough and the second Archbishop of Dublin. The celebration opened with an Ecumenical Evensong sung by the combined choirs of Christ Church Cathedral and the Girls’ Choir of St Mary’s Pro Cathedral. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Diarmuid Martin preached. The week concluded with a Diocesan Evensong sung by the cathedral choir with members of parish choirs from all over the dioceses. Archbishop Michael Jackson preached at this service.
The Ecumenical Evensong saw the world premier of a wonderful specially commissioned anthem written by English composer David Badnell. Two newly commissioned hymns celebrating the life of St Laurence O’Toole were also sung. The hymn texts were translated and versified by Canon Dr John Bartlett from the 13th century Vita of St Laurence O’Toole.
The commemoration also included an exhibition on the life of St Laurence O’Toole and a series of lunchtime lectures exploring the history of the dioceses.
During 2017 there are further plans to celebrate our historical links with the Dioceses of Roskilde and Chopenhagen. One of five Viking longboats to be found in the Museum in Roskilde is the Stallion of Glendalough which plied the route from Denmark to Ireland. The dioceses are also connected through the Anglican Communion and the Porvoo Communion.
A children’s choir competition for diocesan schools will take place in April 2017 and it is planned to draw the year of commemoration to a close with a further celebration of diocesan life during the Octave of St Laurence O’Toole 2017.
You can read more about the history of Dublin & Glendalough here.