Piece 2: St. Mary’s Cathedral

The next time I visit Killarney, I will be sure to attend a mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Not because I’m particularly religious, but because the architecture is so beautiful, it makes you want to go church.

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This visit, however, I simply took a moment to slip inside one afternoon. The only sound was the soft murmur of choir music drifting from hidden speakers and the hushed whispers of tourists and prayers.

Quietly, I lit a candle for my Grandfather. I don’t know why I did it, but I always light a candle for him when I go into one of these churches. Perhaps it is because he is Catholic and this is one way I can honor and remember him. Or perhaps, for some reason, this kind of physical act simply makes me feel more connected.

Worshiper Lighting Votive Candle on Altar
photo borrowed from Internet

After lighting my candle, I settled down on a long, wooden pew. I watched my candle flicker; standing side-by side with dozens of other candles. Dozens of stories converted into flickering flame. I wondered who they were all lit for. Were they prayers? Or, like mine, lit of remembrance and love?

My gaze then rose up the stone columns to the vaulted ceilings; massive stone high above my head. And everywhere, interspersed through the walls of that great stone, and tucked under arches, shone intricately stained-glass windows.

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photo borrowed from trip advisor

As you sit in St. Mary’s, you can’t escape the feeling that you are surrounded by a great vastness; the air is permeated by the reverent quietness of the place.

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photo borrowed from trip advisor

Silence is a beautifully, profound thing. And even if this church is not part of your religion, I would recommend a visit. Take time to sit down and embrace the silence. Breathe in the quiet, the flickering candles, and the space…this is a moment to leave the rest of the world behind and dwell in the quiet of your own thoughts.

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