Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunday Worship

It was such a pleasure to worship at the St. Nicholas Collegiate Church on Sunday. The 11 AM sung Eucharist service was well-attended; I would estimate at least 100 people, including several families with young children. The choir was exceptional. The church, Anglican/Church of Ireland/Episcopalian, is the largest medieval parish church in Ireland that was remained in constant use. (Although it was used by Cromwell's forces as a stable for their horses when they took Galway in 1652 after a nine month siege.)

The church is fascinating to tour. Its oldest tomb dates from the late 13th/early 14th century. Called the Crusader's Tomb, it may have been moved here from a nearby chapel of the Knights Templar which was destroyed in 1324. Its inscription is in Norman French, and it is decorated with an elaborate cross...
Crusader's Tomb
This tall pseudo-Celtic cross is the WWI memorial remembering those parishioners who died during that Great War....
WWI Memorial
The Shoemaker's Tomb commemorates a shoemaker and his wife. The slab contains a very rare example of a 16th century interlaced Celtic-Revival cross...
Shoemaker's Tomb
This banner which hangs by the Choir Room contains representations of the coats of arms of the 14 'Tribes of Galway.' These were 14 influential merchant families which ran Galway from the 15th-17th centuries. Interestingly, all but two of the families were from either England or Wales, but integrated so well into Galway society that they became quite powerful...and Gaelic adopting local manners and customs. If you count, you'll see that there are 15 illustrations; the one in the middle does not represent any of the families...
The 14 Tribes of Galway
I hope to have time during my visit in Galway to return and take a guided tour of the church. So many interesting things to learn about!

No comments:

Post a Comment