Companionship 4 June 2024

Tracy Niven
Wednesday 5 June 2024


In under a week, we will have begun the summer season of graduations in the University.  Over five days and 10 ceremonies, around 2000 graduands will graduate, even more mini-fudge doughnuts will be consumed and an uncountable number of photos will be taken with degree certificates, flowers, parents, academics and graduating friends who have somehow made it from Freshers Week fashion victims to mature adults ready for the world.

Your Chaplains will be there on the stage in the Younger Hall, and in my case, welcoming everyone, and beginning and ending proceedings with prayers in Latin. 

Each graduation day begins with a Service on Thanksgiving in St Salvator’s Chapel.  All graduating students, their families and guests, and anyone else, of any faith or philosophy of life, are welcome to attend. There will be music from St Salvator’s Chapel Choir and a sermon from someone involved with the day’s celebration.  The dates, times and preachers are as follows:

Monday 10 June, 11:15 am: Revd Dr Donald MacEwan, Chaplain

Tuesday 11 June, 9:30 am: Joy Harjo, poet (American Poet Laureate 2019-22) and musician

Wednesday 12 June, 9:30 am: Revd Samantha Ferguson, Assistant Chaplain

Thursday 13 June, 9:30 am: Revd Dr Nelu Balaj, Minister, Livingston Old Parish Church

Friday 14 June, 9:30 am: Prof Stuart Monro OBE, Geologist and former Acting Senior Lay Member, University Court

If you are graduating in the morning, you should collect your gown and tickets before the chapel service begins.  As the Chapel is very close to the Younger Hall and the Buchanan Lecture Theatre, there is plenty of time to do this beforehand. You can wear your gown to attend the service.

Graduation Week also sees the final Compline of the academic year.  This will be at 10 pm on Tuesday 11 June (NB Tuesday not Thursday) in St Leonard’s Chapel.  All are welcome at this lovely candlelit choral service.   

St Salvator’s Chapel Choir will also offer a concert, on Thursday 13 June at 5.30 pm in St Salvator’s Chapel.  Entry is free and everyone is welcome, even if you have no connection with graduations.  There will be sacred music and Scots songs.  Here’s a picture of Chapel Choir at last summer’s graduations:

Then on Sunday 16 June, we will host a special Chapel Service for the Alumni Weekend, at  11 am at St Salvator’s Chapel.  There will be a visiting Austrian male voice choir, Neuhofen Sängerrunde.  A child will be baptised, the son of a 2009 graduate.  We’ll sing a new hymn I have written for the occasion called Our time as students here has ended.  I will preach on the title, Scattered Seeds.  And Sam Ferguson will lead the optional service of Holy Communion.  While the pier remains out of commission, the congregation is welcome to take a harbour walk following the service, though refreshments will also be available.  You do not need to be a member of our alumni community to attend – all are welcome.

There are a few slots available for Bible readers.

On Thursday 13 June we are still looking for a reader. Are you graduating that day?  Or graduating on another day but would still like to read at the service?

On Sunday 16 June, we are looking for two graduates (of any vintage) to read.

And on Sunday 16 June, we only have one usher able to attend.  Would you like to help usher at that service? 

Just let us know if you can help.

Sam, Bill, the honorary team and I are really looking forward to next week.  If you are graduating, congratulations – and we look forward to seeing you cross the stage, and join the kaleidoscope of alumni. 

And feel free to get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to talk about.  Chaplains are available all summer. 



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