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Plans for the commemoration of the 1400th anniversary of the death of Saint Fin Barre of Cork

Wood carving of St Fin Barre on the Bishop's Throne in St Fin Barre's Cathedral.
Wood carving of St Fin Barre on the Bishop's Throne in St Fin Barre's Cathedral.

Based on the customary historical tradition, this year marks the 1400th anniversary of the death in 623 AD of Saint Fin Barre of Cork.  Plans are well underway for the commemoration of the 1400th anniversary in the Church of Ireland Diocese of Cork and in Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral. 

Advance notice is now given of events marking the commemoration from Friday 22nd September to the Saint’s annual Patronal Festival Day on Monday 25th September.

Announcing the plans, Bishop Paul Colton said: ‘I was reading some historical material late last year and noticed the date and did the sums.  I said to myself “hang on a minute; next year (2023) will be the 1400th anniversary, according to the usually observed year of the death of St Fin Barre.”  On Saint Patrick’s Day last at the Civic Service in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, I announced that we would be commemorating the anniversary and, since then, the Dean of Cork, the  Very Reverend Nigel Dunne and I have been working on a modest programme.  I am especially delighted that the Dean and the Cathedral Select Vestry have responded positively to my suggestion that we should commission a sacred  icon of St Fin Barre to mark this anniversary. What we are really celebrating, of course, is the contemporary life of faith in this part of the world to which St Fin Barre brought the good news of Jesus Christ.’

The programme announced is as follows:

Friday 22nd September:

11. a.m. Presentation of Wildlife kits to the children of 3 local Primary Schools 

(St Fin Barre’s St Maries of the Isle and Greenmount).

6.15 p.m.  Choral Evensong at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral

7.30 p.m. to 9. 30 p.m. Culture Night with tour guide presentations at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. And short musical programmes at both 7.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.

Saturday 23rd September

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. An open invitation to the people of Cork to visit the Cathedral 

  • Simply to visit

  • To make a pilgrimage

  • To say a prayer or to light a candle

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a special invitation to anyone named after the Saint (in whatever form, language  or spelling) to come to visit and for those who can confirm their name to the Cathedral staff there is a small limited edition gift to mark this anniversary.

7.30 p.m. Organ recital by the internationally renowned Franco–Lebanese organist, Naji Hakim which will also coincide and mark the 10th anniversary of the restoration of the Cathedral Organ

Sunday 24th September

11.15 a.m. Choral Eucharist at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral

3.30 p.m. Choral Evensong: A Diocesan Service at which the Bishop will consecrate a new icon of St Fin Barre written by international iconographer Aidan Hart of London.  Afterwards the Dean of Cork will re–launch the ‘Friends of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral.’

Monday 25th September – the Feast of Saint Fin Barre of Cork

Special assemblies in schools in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

The Cathedral will be closed to visitors throughout the day until the Ordination at 7.30 p.m.

10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Quiet Day and Retreat for the clergy of the Diocese led by the former Archbishop of Armagh (a former Dean of Cork) the Right Reverend Dr Richard Clarke.

7.30 p.m. Ordination of a priest: the Reverend Martin Steele, currently a deacon at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral will be ordained to the priesthood.

The Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, adds: ‘It is important that we mark significant anniversaries such as that of the death of our Patron Saint.  Bishop Colton and I have been working out a programme of Services and events at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral and for our schools which will celebrate this important milestone by giving thanks for the rich heritage we have inherited as we strive to continue Saint Fin Barre’s work of Christian witness, teaching and welcome 1400 years after his death.  It is important that we give thanks for Saint Fin Barre’s legacy on the site where our city was founded and where Christian worship has continued unbroken for so many centuries.  It will be a busy weekend at the Cathedral and hopefully the wide variety of events will be of interest to people of all faiths and none across the city and county.’

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