Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lenten Pilgrimage - 17

Today we are in Kirkcudbrightshire.

"Commonly called a Stewartry, but in reality and to all intents and purposes a sheriffdom or shire, lies in the south of Scotland, and forms the eastern and by far the most extensive portion of the ancient district of Galloway. It is bounded by Dumfries-shire on the east and north-east, on the south by the Solway Frith and the Irish Sea, by the county of Ayr on the north and northwest, and by Wigtonshire (or Western Galloway) on the west. In extent it measures, from south-east to north-west, about forty four miles, by breadth varying from twenty to thirty miles, the narrowest part being toward its north-western limits....

The aspect of the country, however, forms a very natural distinction into two divisons: if a line be drawn from the centre of Kirkpatrick-Iron-Gray parish to the Gatehouse of Fleet, all to the northwest, with little exception, is so mountainous, that it may be termed a Highland district; while the south and eastern parts exhibt a fine champagne and cultivated country - a contrast strikingly obvious...

The number of horses, cattle and sheep reared in the county is sufficiently large to evince the possession of much practical knowledge, and consequent success, in this branch of the productive economy; and the breed of swine has increased to a prodigious extent, these animals being now a staple commodity both for home consumption and exportation....

The shire, or stewartry, comprises twenty-eight parishes and contains two royal burghs, Kirkcudbright and New Galloway...."

County Description from Pigot's Directory, 1837

Time for our hymn.

O Jesu Christ, from Thee began
This healing for the soul for man,
By fasting sought, by fasting found
Through forty days of yearly round;

That he who fell from high delight,
Borne down to sensual appetite,
By dint of stern control may rise
To climb the hills of Paradise.

Therefore behold Thy Church, O Lord,
And grace of penitence accord
To all who seek with generous tears
Renewal of their wasted years.

Forgive the sin that we have done,
Forgive the course that we have run,
And show henceforth in evil day
Thyself our succor and our stay.

But now let every heart prepare,
By sacrifice of fast and prayer,
To keep with joy magnifical
The solemn Easter festival.

Father and Son and Spirit blest,
To Thee be every prayer addrest,
Who art in threefold Name adored,
From age to age, the only Lord. Amen.

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