Living History, Living God – Hundreds of School Children Launch Dublin and Glendalough 800
Almost 500 primary school pupils from across the United Dioceses had a hand in making history yesterday (Thursday October 14) by taking part in the launch of the Dublin & Glendalough 800 celebrations. Eight centuries ago this year, the dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough were united and at the annual Diocesan Service for Junior and Primary Schools in Christ Church Cathedral the commemorations officially got under way.
The theme of the service was Living History, Living God and almost every Church of Ireland primary school in the dioceses was represented. Archbishop Michael Jackson presided and he was joined by the Anglican Bishop of Spain, the Rt Revd Carlos López–Lozano and the Anglican Bishop of Lusitania (Portugal), the Right Revd José Jorge de Pina Cabral who were visiting as part of the 800th anniversary celebrations. Dean Dermot Dunne welcomed everyone and the Revd Eugene Griffin led the service. He was assisted in the address by the Revd Nigel Pierpoint and the Revd Abigail Sines.
The children heard some of the history of Dublin and Glendalough but were also told that they are all part of living history. While the world is constantly changing and history is evolving, the children were reminded that God remains unchanged.
During the service a child from each school placed written prayers in a model of Glendalough’s round tower. These prayers, along with school crests and a record and pictures from the service, will be sealed to form a time capsule for future generations.
Concluding the service, the Archbishop said he was delighted that children from schools throughout the United Dioceses were involved in the historic day. Later he added: “Dublin and Glendaough 800 is a unique opportunity for the people of the dioceses to rejoice in continuity and development of the faith in this part of Ireland. It is also an open invitation to press forward with ecumenical friendship and hospitality, mutuality and respect as the uniting of the two dioceses pre–dates The Reformation. A broad range of events has been planned and is being developed for the year to follow. All are invited to feel part of this in the weeks and months ahead”.
Dublin & Glendalough 800 celebrations continue this weekend with a visit of the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral to St Mary’s Church in Blessington on Sunday October 16. The choir will sing Evensong at 3.30 pm.
In November a week of events will take place around the feast of St Laurence O’Toole starting with an Ecumenical Festival Evensong in Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday November 13 at 3.30 pm during which the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin will give the address. People from throughout the dioceses will be invited to attend along with ecumenical and interfaith guests. The week will conclude with a special Come and Sing service in the cathedral on Sunday November 20 at 3.30 pm to which parish choirs will be invited to sing Evensong with the cathedral choir.
In between the two services will be a Week of Exploration of 800 Years featuring talks on the eight centuries of history of the dioceses and an exhibition on St Laurence O’Toole.
Throughout the dioceses young voices are being raised in song in preparation for the Diocesan National Schools Choir Competition which will take place in spring 2017. It is expected that the preliminary rounds will be held at various locations in Dublin and Glendalough in February.
The dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough were unified after the death of the last bishop of Glendalough (as a separate diocese), William Piro in 1214. The unification of the two dioceses was confirmed by Pope Honorius III in 1216.
Top – Pupils place prayers from their schools into a time capsule in the shape of the round tower in Glendalough.
Bottom – Just some of the congregation at the annual Diocesan Service for Junior and Primary Schools