Home > Bookish Things > Ireland – Christ Church Cathedral

Ireland – Christ Church Cathedral

Saturday, 6 November 2004 Leave a comment Go to comments

(I know. I could back date this post so it would be with the other posts about Ireland. Perhaps I will later, but for now I didn’t want it to get lost so far down the page.)

Although the site of Christ Church dates back to 1030, it’s oldest surviving parts are from the 1200’s. A beautiful Gothic style church with high arches and beautiful stained glass, it lacked the more overbearing ostentatious decor found in many churches. I found it to be a very lovely church.

The church has the distinction of having a relic – the heart of Saint Lawrence O’Toole in a heart shaped casket – on display in one of the side chapels. (Many such relics did not survive the reformation.) There is also a monument to Strongbow; a man often mentioned in the Irish historical fiction I’ve read.

Below the church is the crypt. I went down there with visions of an Indiana Jones type adventure, having forgotten that I had been in the crypt at St. Paul’s in London which is nothing like that. Instead of piles of bones and rats it is a very open area with monuments around the outer walls. Apparently there was a time in the past when it was used as a market.

We had the good fortune to arrive in time for their daily prayers for peace. The vicar then said a blessing over those of us in the building at the time, then we “offered one another a sign of peace” by going around and shaking hands and saying “peace be with you”. (We do this in church here every Sunday, but it was nice to do it there as well.) It is obviously a very active church as prayers were going on in one section and the vicar was walking around talking to visitors.

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