We’re Welsh, we sing!
We’re Welsh, we sing!
We at the Melbourne Welsh Church don’t bang the patriotic gong very often. The reason why is a simple, we’re a church first and foremost. We are here to spread the love of Jesus Christ in our community, and most of the people around us ain’t Welsh. The fact the Church grew out of a Welsh heritage, the fact we still hold Welsh language services is great but more important is the fact that we welcome anyone, it doesn’t matter if you are Welsh or not.
But once in a while we dust off the gong of Welshieness, find a big stick of patriotism and make a huge noise! And this week is one of those times. It’s Saint David’s Day on Friday March 1st and just as the Irish celebrate Saint Patricks Day by drinking green beer and the English Saint George’s day by ummm doing what ever it is they do, we celebrate our Patron Saint.
I won’t bore you with details of who St. David was or what he did, if you want to know google “Saint David” and you’ll find more than enough to keep you going.
So in a few days time the Irish communities of the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s day. (Ironic as Patrick was Welsh, but I suppose no more ironic than the fact St. David was Irish.) Stereotypically these celebrations involve beer, actually lots of beer. In the same vein the Welsh celebrate St. David’s day and it usually involve singing, lots of singing.
Scholars suggest that the survival of the Welsh language over the past 200 years or so can be attributed, in a major way, to the Welsh love of singing and poetry. Hymns fed (and continue to feed) both those passions. So over the St. David’s Day weekend we will have lots of singing culminating in the very Welsh activity of a Gymanfa Ganu. It’s a singing festival where people get together and, ummm, sing. We will have all the traditional Welsh hymn favourites (with English verses as well, we are in Australia after all), four Welsh choirs, a world renowned harpist, timpani, trumpets, a brilliant conductor and all this will take place in St. Michael’s church, in Collins Street at 3pm on Sunday March 3rd.
We look forward to seeing and hearing you there.