Praise, Worship and Reflection in Scotland and England
I haven’t posted on my blog in a while because I decided to unplug myself from the computer. Initially, it was a tough decision to make. But in my quest to slow down and live in the present moment, I chose not to take my laptop with me on a choir tour to Scotland and England. I did, however, take my camera and a journal.
This was the final day of our trip, singing in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England.
Bill Stein, our wonderful Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood, Missouri, orchestrated this trip for our choir to sing at some of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world.
Here’s a small sample of our tour. It was wonderful to worship with others across the world and to experience the splendor of these exquisite structures that were built to the glory of God.
This is the Outside of St. Paul’s.
This is Winchester Cathedral (yes, the song was about this cathedral) – Winchester has the longest Nave (principal area of the church) in the United Kingdom.
Coventry Cathedral was the only cathedral that was damaged during World War II. The cathedral was almost completely destroyed during the Blitz. A modern cathedral was built connected to the remains of the old cathedral. After seeing the devastation, the minister of the church said a prayer, “Father Forgive.” These words are in the ruins as well as the new cathedral. Two cross beams had burned and fallen in the shape of a cross. The beams are on display in the new Coventry Cathedral with a replica outside where the beams were originally found.
York Minster Cathedral
Singing at York Minister. Seeing the choir in this huge space will give you an idea of the size. The sound in these cathedrals was amazing. When we finished a powerful song the sound reverberated throughout the space for several seconds.
York Minster has the most glass of any cathedral. During World War II all of the glass was removed and hidden in the countryside to protect it.
This is just a piece of Durham Cathedral. It was impossible to get a view of the entire structure. There were no pictures allowed inside. The columns were 22 feet round. It was the first of the large cathedrals on our tour.
This is a view from the top of the tower.
St. Giles is in Edinburgh, Scotland and is the birthplace of the Presbyterian Church. This was our first stop and was very special.
Our director, Bill Stein, had the opportunity to play the pipe organ shown here. He is an incredible musician and the music filled the entire space.
Every cathedral had a place to reflect in prayer and to light a candle. I took an opportunity to light a candle and say a prayer in each space.
This trip was not only a gift in having a wonderful experience but it gave me the gift of how important it is to live in the present moment. It was the first trip that I have ever taken where I forgot what day or time it was. I wasn’t worried or thinking about anything else but being present in each moment.
It’s taken me a while to adjust to getting back into the routine of life. The reason, perhaps, is not wanting life to be routine. To be continued…..