The Spectrum and the Flame

Votive candles and the color spectrum of contemporary stained glass in semi-darkness, bring light to the Black Abbey in the Irish county of Kilkenny.

The name was derived from the term “Black Friars” to describe members of the Dominican Order and the black cloak worn by monks over their white habits.

Founded in 1225 by William Marshal the younger, Earl of Pembroke, the abbey has had many reversals of fortune. In 1558, Ireland was under the rule of Protestant Elizabeth I of England and the property of the priory was confiscated by the crown. Then from 1685 to 1689 under the rule of the Catholic king James II of England, the abbey flourished, but in 1690, under the rule of the Protestant king William III of England, the abbey was once again occupied by the English.

In 1776, when the community of the Black Abbey was close to zero, the Dominicans retook possession of the abbey, and in 1816, Black Abbey was restored as a Dominican priory and the first public mass was held on 25 September 1816…

Any connection with the title of my blog is purely coincidental…

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