Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lenten Pilgrimage - 1

There are 33 more weekdays of Lent before the start of Holy Week - and 33 counties in Scotland (according to the 1890-1974 classification which we shall be using). So we shall be visiting a different county each day spreading the Good News!

You may wish to print out this map so as to have a handy reference as we go on our journey.

We shall be visiting these counties in alphabetical order, and so today we start in Aberdeenshire.

"ABERDEENSHIRE, a maritime Co. in the NE. of Scotland; bounded N. and E. by the German Ocean; S. by the counties of Kincardine, Forfar, and Perth; and W. by the counties of Inverness and Banff. Greatest length, NE. and SW., 85 miles; greatest breadth, NW. and SE., 42 miles; coast-line, 60 miles. Area, 1955.4 sq. m., or 1,251,451 ac. Pop. 267,990, or 137 persons to each sq. m. The coast is mostly bold and rocky, and with little indentation. The chief promontories are Kinnaird's Head, Rattray Head, and Buchan Ness, the last being the most easterly point of Scotland. The surface, on the whole, is hilly and mountainous. It is lowest in the districts bordering on the coasts; hilly in the interior, with much moor, but also with many slopes and hollows in a good state of cultivation; and grandly mountainous in the SW., where numerous summits, including Ben Macdhui (4296 ft.), rise above 3000 ft. Much of the country is well-wooded. The chief rivers are the Dee, Don, Ythan, Ugie, and Deveron. Granite is the principal rock, and is extensively quarried for exportation."
[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]

Let's now sing the pilgrims hymn.

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound—his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labour night and day to be a pilgrim.

I'm afraid that Rob Charles appears to be unaware of the restrictions placed on the use of the organ during Lent. It's a good job the organ doesn't have a tuba stop!

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