Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Fit like?

After a successful and very enjoyable visit to St Mary's Parish Church in Haddington last Saturday where we sang a devotional sequence for Easter-tide followed by a similarly enjoyable and successful trip 100 yards down the road to the Tyneside Tavern by a big crowd of choir and friends, the next time RSCM Scottish Voices will meet and sing together is on Saturday 18th June 2011 at 4pm when we will be making our first visit to Aberdeen, to St Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in King St, to sing Choral Evensong, and we're all VERY much looking forward to it!

The music list has been announced today, and it will consist of:
  • Introit: God the Holy Trinity (David Halls)
  • Responses: Richard Ayleward
  • Psalm 147
  • Office Hymn: Bright the vision that delighted (tune: Redhead No 46)
  • Canticles: Basil Harwood in A flat
  • Anthem: I saw the Lord (Sir John Stainer)
  • Final Hymn: I bind unto myself today (tune: St Patrick's Breastplate)
St Andrew's Cathedral, which is pretty much in the centre of Aberdeen, is an historic place with special links to the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, and of significance to the whole Anglican communion, and this is clear when you read the following extract from the cathedral's own rather good website:

The congregation here is much older than the present church building. Its roots go back to the time when Episcopalians were forced out of the parish churches of the city after the deposition of James VII (James II of England). Early records are lost, but it is known that the  congregation existed in 1716 when Andrew Jaffrey, formerly parish minister of Alford, became minister of this congregation. A number of meeting houses were used before John Skinner built his house in Long Acre in 1776, the upper room of which was used as a chapel.

It was in Aberdeen on 14 November 1784 that Samuel Seabury of Connecticut was consecrated Bishop for America, the first Bishop outside the British isles of what we now call the Anglican Communion. A plaque in the Quadrangle of Marischal College commemorates this notable event.

Seabury's consecration by Bishop Kilgour of Aberdeen, Bishop Petrie of Moray and John Skinner, who was Rector of this congregation and Co-adjutor Bishop of Aberdeen, forced the established Church of England and Parliament to legislate; making it possible for bishops to be created for the Colonies. Had this not happened, the Anglican communion might be very different from what it is today.

RSCM Scottish Voices will be paying its first, but doubtless not its last visit to Aberdeen, and we're proud to be a small part of the ongoing tradition of worship in this fine building.  That said, with one former member of the cathedral choir and one current member of the Cathedral Voices choir singing with us, we aren't exactly complete strangers to the city or cathedral, but we're all very much looking forward to being there in a few weeks.

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