BY James Farrell | October 26 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Historic parish hosts musical celebration for Education Act

THE CENTENARY of the Education Act was celebrated last weekend in a parish which played an instrumental role in the act coming to pass.

A sung Mass was held in St Columbkille’s, Rutherglen, on Sunday October 14 to celebrate the centenary of the Education (Scotland) Act 1918, which won state funding for Catholic schools, and to launch the parish’s new schola.

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley Diocese celebrated the Mass, with the liturgy enhanced by the accompaniment of the Musica Sacra Scotland Schola, whose patron, Sir James MacMillan, was in attendance.

“It was excellent,” Fr Bernard Mournian, assistant priest of St Columbkille’s, said.

“The church was packed, we sang traditional hymns that the congregation could join in with, we sang the MacMillan Mass parts in English and the bishop sang all of the parts of the Eucharistic prayer. It was enjoyed by all.”

Bishop Keenan preached on the patron saint of the parish, St Columbkille, and highlighted how apt the setting was for the celebratory Mass. He also spoke about Mgr William Brown, who resided at St Columbkille’s at the time of the Education Act, and who was in charge of education at the time.

That meant that all the background work for the Education Act took place in St Columbkille’s and correspondence between Rome and the Church here was addressed to St Columbkille’s Church, 2 Kirkwood Street.

Speaking after the Mass, Bishop Keenan said: “St Columbkille was one of Scotland’s most notable saints and scholars, and a composer of sacred poems and hymns still dear to us today.

“So St Columbkille’s parish was the perfect setting for celebrating the centenary of our contemporary Catholic schools and for the formal launch of the parish schola.

“It was a joy to celebrate Mass along with the teachers and pupils of the local schools and in the company of Sir James MacMillan.”

One parishioner said it was ‘truly moving and inspirational’ and that he left with a spring in his step.

The schola, led by Alan and Rebecca Taverner, held a musical workshop before Mass.

Practices will continue at 3pm each Sunday for anyone who wishes to be involved in the schola, that will continue to enhance the 4pm Sunday Mass.

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