St Macartan's Cathdral, Clogher

St Macartan’s Cathdral, Clogher

The Bishop of Clogher Right Reverend John McDowell has praised those who help to preserve small Anglican Cathedrals in towns throughout Ireland. It’s not an easy task with small congregations in many parishes. In the case of St Macartan’s, the Friends of Clogher Cathedral have made a major contribution over the years to keeping the structure and the interior maintained. The William Carleton Society has co-operated with them on a number of occasions during the annual summer school. The Society held a talk there about the Ulster English on St George’s Day. In March, the Cathedral organised a number of events to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

St Macartan's Cathedral

St Macartan’s Cathedral

The Friends  come from different Christian churches, including Presbyterians, Methodists and Catholics. Every year they hold a service in the Cathedral to coincide with their AGM. I attended their Choral Evensong this afternoon, led by the Precentor Noel Regan, a Sligoman, along with the curate Reverend Alistair Warke. Bishop McDowell preached the homily.

Bishop McDowell & Canon Noel Regan greet members of the congregation

Bishop McDowell & Canon Noel Regan greet members of the congregation


The Precentor sang the Vestry Prayer

Processional Hymn:  Praise My Soul the King of Heaven

Sentences of Scripture

Bishop of Clogher Rt Rev John McDowell

Bishop of Clogher Rt Rev John McDowell

Exhortation: Dean of Clogher Kenneth Hall, St Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen

General Confession

The Absolution: Pronounced by the Bishop

Opening Versicles according to the Book of Common Prayer:

Priest: O Lord, open thou our lips: Choir: And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise. Priest: O God, make speed to save us: Choir: O Lord, make haste to help us. Priest: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Choir: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Priest: Praise ye the Lord. Choir: The Lord’s Name be praised.

Bishop McDowell greeting the congregation

Bishop McDowell greeting the congregation

The Psalm: Psalm 84 How lovely is your Dwelling Place, O Lord of Hosts!

Lesson from the Old Testament Genesis 4: 1-16

Bishop McDowell greets the congregation

And Bishop McDowell greets the congregation

Magnificat: The Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary St Luke 1: 46-55

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the lowliness of his hand-maiden. For behold, from henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me, and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations. He hath shewed strength with his arm, he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel, as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

St Macartan's Cathedral, Clogher

St Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher

Lesson from the New Testament: St Mark 5: 21-43

Nunc Dimittis: The Song of Simeon  St Luke 2: 29-32

Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen

St Macartan's Cathedral, Clogher

St Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the Resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

Priest: The Lord be with You Choir: And with Thy Spirit Priest: Let us Pray Choir: Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ have mercy upon us. Lord have mercy upon us.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth; as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil. Amen

O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us:  And grant us thy salvation.

O Lord, save the Queen: And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.

Endue thy ministers with righteousness: And make thy chosen people joyful.

O Lord, save thy people: And bless thine inheritance.

Give peace in our time, O Lord: Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.

O God, make clean our hearts within us: And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Bell Tower window

Bell Tower window

The Collect of the First Sunday of Trinity:  The Precentor sings:

O God, the strength of all them that put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping of thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Second Collect: for Peace

O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

The Third Collect for Aid against all Perils

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Hymn: All People that on Earth do Dwell

St Macartan's Cathedral, Clogher

St Macartan’s Cathedral, Clogher

The Sermon: The Right Reverend F John McDowell, Bishop of Clogher

Hymn: (The Breastplate of St Patrick)

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

PRAYERS led by the Diocesan Curate Reverend Alistair Warke

Almighty and merciful God, who in days of old didst give to this land the benediction of thy holy Church, withdraw not, we pray thee, thy favour from us, but so correct what is amiss, and supply what is lacking, that we may more and more bring forth fruit to thy glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The General Thanksgiving:

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,  we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving kindness to us and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

A Prayer of St Chrysostom:

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests. Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen.

Hymn with the Collection of Alms: God, whose city’s sure foundation

Heather McKeown playing the bells

Heather McKeown playing the bells

God, whose city’s sure foundation
stands upon his holy hill,
by his mighty inspiration
chose of old and chooseth still
men of every race and nation
his good pleasure to fulfil.

Here in Ireland through the ages,
while the Christian years went by,
saints, confessors, martyrs, sages,
strong to live and strong to die,
wrote their names upon the pages
of God’s blessed company.

Some there were like lamps of learning
shining in a faithless night,
some on fire with love, and burning
with a flaming zeal for right,
some by simple goodness turning
souls from darkness unto light.
As we now with high thanksgiving                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     their triumphant names record,

View of graveyard from bell tower window

View of graveyard from bell tower window

grant that we, like the, believing
in the promise of thy word,
may, like them, in all good living
praise and magnify the Lord.

The Blessing: The Bishop sings the blessing

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep you in your heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son. and the Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you always. AMEN.

Hymn: Abide with me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

As I arrived at the service, it was nice to hear the Cathedral bells ringing. So afterwards as they rang again while the congregation left the church, I went into the bell tower to look at them, expecting to find a group of bell ringers pulling ropes. Instead I found Heather McKeown at the console of the chime, with eight bells individually numbered and a wooden lever to press down to ring the bell.

"Be Still and Know" on the Chime

“Be Still and Know” on the Chime

She encouraged me to have a go, so I tried playing the hymn “Be Still and Know”. If it sounded a bit strange, I can only apologise, and I did make at least one error in ringing the wrong bell! But second time round it proved a lot easier to ring the bells in the right order and tempo.

Heather McKeown & the 8-bell chime

Heather McKeown & the 8-bell chime

Diocese of Clohger: Arms
Diocese of Clogher: Arms

For more information about the Friends of Clogher Cathedral, please contact the Reverend Precentor Noel Regan, The Deanery, 10 Augher Road, Clogher.

Copyright: photos © Michael Fisher

Material from Book of Common Prayer: © The Representative Body of the Church of Ireland 2004

The Irish Church Hymnal — Fifth Edition:  © The Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland 2000