Remember the lovely story of how St Patrick was captured in Britain by Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland? As the priest said during his sermon that this was a good thing, of course. After all, if he wasn’t captured, he would not have brought Christianity to Ireland. He also wore blue, not green. Modern day versions of traditions are strange. Today we associate St Patrick’s Day with drinking Guinness and rioting in the streets: the students in Belfast did it in 2009, the Dubliners did it in Temple Bar in 2010 and the Canadians are at it this year.
As for me, I still don’t enjoy the idea of a national drinking day. I am partial to a pint of Guinness, however. My St Patrick’s Day was perfect. Darren and I started the day in the Pro Cathedral, for 11.30am mass. It was a nice service, sadly the sound wasn’t great, though with a little straining we did hear the priest talk of spreading the word of faith and how non-believers will not reach heaven. Never mind that, afterwards we explored the beautiful church, filled brilliant deep reds and great architecture.
On leaving the church I understood why people do it, particularly on days like this one; overrun by superficiality and drunken debauchery. Spending an hour in the solace of your own thoughts, the serenity of the building, the community affair, the reverent, spirituality which fills the mind as one enters and leaves such a place has a way of preparing one for such a day ahead, and to have a remain with different mindset. To ignore the superficiality.