St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral saw a splendid St David’s Day when the Wales National Civic Service was held there. The cathedral was packed with civic leaders from throughout the archdiocese, led by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff Councillor Dianne Rees. She said:
“Since the 12th century Dewi Sant has been regarded as the Patron Saint of Wales and around 50 churches in South Wales are dedicated in honour of him.”
Councillor Rees paid tribute to all of those who had worked so hard and contributed positively in many different ways to Wales’ progress and development as a nation during the past year. She added:
“Cardiff and Wales has continued to move forward with an enhanced reputation and we can look forward with pride in our national identity and with confidence in our nation’s continued success.”
Archbishop George Stack welcomed the many civic and voluntary organisation representatives to the cathedral and said: “”We pray that our service of the common good will draw inspiration from the example of our patron saint. We entrust to God’s grace all who serve the welfare of our communities, the emergency services, our health and social services together with all who deliver education to our cohort of pupils and students.”
Canon Peter Collins, Dean of the Cathedral, added: “We pray that our service for the common good will draw inspiration from the example of our patron saint. May our hearts be moulded by an integrity born of justice and compassion.”
The service, which had representatives of a wide range of religious faiths, heard biblical scripture readings and prayers and had some lovely traditional Welsh hymns sung robustly by the congregation in Welsh, the “language of Heaven”, including Cwm Rhondda “Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anailwch” or, to those more familiar with English “Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer.”
Readings were done by the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Dianne Rees, the Leader of Cardiff Council, Councillor Huw Thomas, with the Gospel reading by the Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales and the Homily was delivered by Archbishop George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff.
Those who also contributed to the service were the organist and choristers of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cardiff, musicians from the Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Music Service, the church floral arrangers and the Lord Mayor’s Own Scouts and Guides who provided the Guard of Honour at the Cathedral porch.