Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday in Glasgow

Entry for 1 April 2007:

Today, at St. Mary's, for the Palm Sunday Passiontide reading, the congregation read the part of Jesus. This is the first time I have ever seen it done this way. A relief after years of having to say, "Crucify him"! After church, we met more American expatriots, appropriately named John and Paul, since they are each recently hired faculty members in New Testament studies. This must be part of the American Brain Drain, of which I am a member as well. John, who teaches at the International Christian College, in the Cit Centre, was fascinated by my account of person-centred/experiential therapy, which he had never heard of, although he wondered if it is related to "personalistic ethics" and the philosopher Levinas. However, it turned out that he had lived/worked for several years in Leuven and knew of or had taken a class from Mia Leijssen's brother, Lambert.

Then we went on a Walk between our three sister parishes: Lansdown (Church of Scotland = Presbyterian), St. Columba's (Roman Catholic), and finally back to St. Mary's. St. Columba's is the church I have looking for for awhile, as it is where James MacMillan works -- it turns out that it is near the Canal, which means that I have been running past it regularly, (yet another example of my not seeing things in front of me). St. Columba's has a charming mural at the back of the church, including a panel of the Saint baptizing converts at what I assume to be Loch Ness, since there is a Nessie in the distance! Don't know if the famous serpent/ plesiosaur was there to be baptized, or just for local color…

At each place, there was a hymn, a reading and a prayer. The people of the three parishes mingled along the way. Diane had a very nice visit with an older woman named Kathleen from St. Columba's, who had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. Along the way, we were accompanied by two police, one male and one female, who had been assigned to watch over us. They helpfully blocked traffic on Maryhill Road, one of the major roads in this part of Glasgow, so we could cross on our walk to and from St. Columba's. According to Kelvin, today is the first day of a new law requiring all groups of people on organized marches to be accompanied by police in order to prevent sectarian violence. The fact that we were an interdenominational group of Catholics and Protestants apparently made no difference, since the authorities apparently wanted to know how many fife bands etc. would be part of our procession and felt it necessary to provide a police presence to prevent violence. I don't think there was a place on the application for the guy carrying the wooden cross!

It was a fine sunny, Sunday afternoon, but still a bit chilly outside. After lunch, we sat for a good part of the afternoon in our lounge, toasty warm with the sun beaming in. Diane drifted off over a book she is reading for a study group at St. Mary's: Miss Garnet's Angel, by Sally Vickers. I could hear children outside playing.

1 comment:

Kelvin said...


The first claimed record of a monster in Loch Ness is in Adomnan's Life of Columba.

See here: