Wednesday, March 20, 2013

St Cuthbert's Day

Wednesday 20th March 2013
Durham Cathedral at dusk
After a meeting down the valley in connection with the Church stand at the Northumberland County Show, I continued a further twenty miles to Durham to take part in the Festal Evensong on the Feast of St Cuthbert.  
     People often comment on the irony of erecting a building of such grandeur to shelter the bones of the ascetic saint.  Today this was particularly vivid for me as I stood at the east end of the cathedral in semi darkness looking up to the feretory which houses Cuthbert's shrine whilst the choir sang John Tavener's "Ikon of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne".
     As though obscured by a sea mist, the feretory kept blending into a remembered view of Farne Island and returned to candlelight.
     "Barren island, desolate, slate-clothed waters surge on the rock" sang the choir;  "the spirit laid you to rest in peace on the hill upon the waters".

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