Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Really Begins-Bell, Book and Candle in the Cathedral

Last Sunday was the night when the Christmas season begins in style for a Kilkenny City councillor. The annual 'Nine Carols and Nine Lessons' service of the Church of Ireland community, but open to all takes place in the wonderful setting of St. Canice's Cathedral. It was presided over by the relatively new bishop, Michael Burrowes, whose consecration I unfortunately missed in February last. The singing by the cathedral choir, and by children from the Model National School was uplifting and the ideal start to the real Christmas-that of the sacred rather than the shopping frenzy and all that other madness.

The real treat came at the end of the night however, when we were invited into the bell tower, quiet a climb from the main church, where the bell ringers or 'change ringers' showed us their art in action. This was the first time that our council was invited into the private area of the church in its 400 year history. We then climbed a little higher to see the actual bells, which are up to 500 years old. Thanks a million to all the change ringers for their hospitality. I'd love to get there for the annual new year's ceremony on new year's eve at 11.30, followed by the midnight ringing of the bells.

By the way thanks to Harry Reid for the magic photos.

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