July 10, 2011

Day 3 - York: Church at York Minster Cathedral

We went to church in the largest cathedral in Northern Europe today!  How about that! 
So amazing

Listen to the video below - York Minster has 32 bells that are rung on Sundays and some holidays by hand.  Turn it up really loud and it's exactly what we heard out our window this morning at 9am (The bells rang from 9-10 AM)!  Amazing!

The services at York Minster are Anglican (Church of England) – if you’ve never been to a traditional Anglican service, it’s pretty similar to a Catholic service…minus the whole transubstantiation thing and a few other parts…  It’s kind of in between a Catholic service and a traditional Lutheran service.  The choir was beautiful, especially the children.  Hearing the children’s voices soar above the adults into a huge stone space is just incredible.  You could look up at the ceiling and forget that you weren’t huddled in there worshipping with your fellow peasants in the 1200s!  There is so much singing in this type of service, both by the choir and by the congregation.  The row of older adults behind us had a gusto all their own :-)  (Allison's Note:  Then there's me sitting between Andrew and Daniel.  Andrew has a beautiful voice and Daniels is like an opera star in Kentucky.  Huge voice + Me + Huge voice = intimidation).  Hearing the organ was great, too…I’m no lover of solo organ music, but hearing such a beautiful instrument in a place like that kind of blows your mind.
The main organ - from the 1800's because a fire destroyed the previous one
Look at the detail on the pipes!
It was a Eucharist (Communion) service, so we were able to participate.  There were apparently a huge number of people there today since there are horse races, the Early Music Festival, and some other event going on in the city this week, not to mention the fact that it was a special service for the big wigs of the Church of England.  The priest who gave the sermon was the Bishop of Copenhagen.  After the service we had tea and biscuits in a back chapel – just like going to some fellowship hall in a church at home and grabbing a cup of coffee after the service, only you’re surrounded by 600 year old stained glass and stone, and some knight probably took some sort of vow where you’re standing and looking longingly at the empty biscuit tin.  Again, this puts many things into perspective.   
I declare and appoint thee Sir Andrew, Lord of the Early Music Festival 
Allison:  We spent the remainder of the day walking around York and the remainder of the medieval wall (which I evidently spelled wrong 5 times yesterday... my bad!),  At one point I lost my black cardigan sweater on a walk back to the B&B.  I retraced my steps to every shop we stopped at, all the shop owners were so compassionate and helped me look around but we couldn't find the sweater.  "Oh sorry deary, we just feel so poorly for you."  Then, a lady a block away found me walking outside and said she overheard me discussing my missing jacket and that she found a jacket on one of the city walls we had walked by earlier in the day.  It was mine : )  I went back and all the shop owners were so excited for me.  "Oh deary, my husband said he saw that jacket when he was on the walls" (Really??!)  Love these cute English people in York!!
Here are a few pictures from around York, I think I've fallen in love with this place!

View of York Minster from upstairs through a window
Because...why wouldn't you name a street this?
Take that, dachshunds
I feel that when I'm 85, I will own a shop like this.
It will make no money, but it will be named "The Blue Bike" and have a blue bike parked outside
Took this pic for my friend Karen : )
Soooo... I made the boys get "high tea".  HA!!  Look at their faces!!!
This picture is for all you sissys out there that think eggs have to be kept in the refrigerator.
This is on the grocery aisle shelves, not the refrigerated section.  Eggs, can in fact, be left out!
View from the wall around York - this is the original Roman fortification from 37AD!
York Minster from the wall
I want the view from my house to look like this... Katy... sigh
Backyard parties in England... way better than Houston
Inside the wall fortification thing... 
Can you guess what time of NIGHT this is??  Hint:  It's not 6 PM, or 7 or 8 or even 9 PM!!

**By the way, in case you are checking this with baited breath 5 times a day to see when we’re posting some videos (I know you all are :-), we’re trying hard to get videos posted but it’s really difficult with the wifi connections over here.  It takes forever just to load a picture!  We tried to upload several at a time in London and left it to upload all night and it ended by saying we had an error.  We’ve decreased the picture size of the ones we post which helps, but video has proven pretty impossible.  Unless we find a faster connection in York or maybe Oxford, we’ll probably just post all the videos under a video tab on the blog when we get back.**


  1. York looks amazing! Looks like we need to plan another trip! I can't believe you got your cardigan back!

  2. Hi, guys. I met you at the FFT orientation months ago. I have enjoyed reading your blog every day. Wish we had had more time each say so we could have written on our blog daily. Wanted to help you out with the uploading videos thing. I have been struggling with uploading pictures onto blogspot as well, but think I finally figured out an easier and less time consuming way. If you have a youtube account, upload the videos onto there. It might still take a little while, but it was faster for me, and I have a really slow internet connection. Then once they are uploaded there, click on share, then embed, then embed the code onto your blog, and it appears instantly once you publish it. Hope this helps! --Jill P.S. York looks amazing!