The Rector writes ‘ There have been so many wonderfully imaginative initiatives to raise money to help those fleeing from war in the Ukraine and at 2:30pm this afternoon the wonderful St Nicholas Brass Band will give a recital of popular music on the new Bandstand in The People’s Park, Carrigaline. This is actually the first time there will be a traditional Brass Band playing in that lovely new Bandstand. So come along and enjoy the music and you can donate to help the Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee their homes and come to our Island. I hope to see you there’
Music Notes 15/05/2022
Hymns at St Mary’s
349 Fill thou my life
531 Where love and loving-kindness dwell
432 Love is his word
The last Music Notes discussed the ‘Canticle of the Turning’, a hymn based on a paraphrase of the Magnificat. The Magnificat appears as a radical text in this version promoting social justice for all. This prayer has become popular in the twentieth century in another form which sees the song of Mary as a celebration of the female experience.
A New Zealand hymn writer, Shirley Erena Murray (1931-2020) has written a hymn entitled ‘Of women, and of women’s hopes we sing’ inspired by the Magnificat. Not a paraphrase this time but using the Magnificat as a starting point for reflection.
The second verse encapsulates the message:
We praise the God whose image is our own,
the mystery within our flesh and bone,
the woman-spirit moving through all time
in prophecy, Magnificat and dream.
A link to a YouTube performance:
Bébhinn 087 228 5965
Random Notes CDXXIV
St Mary’s Church in the village of Brent Belham, Hertfordshire, is the burial place of Piers Shonks, who according to legend, was the last dragon-slayer in England.
Shortly after the Norman Conquest, the story goes that he speared a dragon that had plagued the area for many years.
However, the creature was one of the Devil’s favourite pets and he demanded the warrior’s body and soul in reparation, ‘Whether you are buried within or without the church’.
‘Not so’ answered Piers boldly, ‘for my soul is God’s and my body will be buried neither inside or outside the church’.
On his deathbed in 1086, Piers fired an arrow and commanded that he be buried where it fell. It apparently travelled a mile from his house to the church, flew in the window, and hit the opposite wall, within whose thickness his tomb may be seen to this day. The slab does indeed depict an impaled dragon.
Though prosaic scholars have said this is only an unusual symbol of salvation, the inscription is quite definite.
‘Shonks one serpent kills, t’other defies,
and in this wall as in a fortress lies’
Though the majority of the tale is clearly fabricated, surely nobody invented the name ’Piers Shonks’ !