On Saturday, October 20 at 2:00 p.m., the Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine informs local Historic City News reporters that an Ecumenical Prayer Service will be held as part of the City of St Augustine’s celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of the Spanish Constitution.
News of the promulgation of a new constitution for Spain and its colonies reached St Augustine in October 1812, followed by civic and religious celebrations over the course of several days — including public readings of the constitution, parades, the firing of artillery and the ringing of the bells from the recently completed parish church.
“History tells us that one of the places that the new Spanish constitution was read was in the parish church here in St Augustine,” the Cathedral’s rector, Fr. Thomas Willis said. “When one thinks that two hundred years ago the citizens of this town wholeheartedly welcomed the new constitution in Spain, we couldn’t let such an important anniversary go by without our own celebration.”
The Most Reverend Felipe J. Estevez, Bishop of St Augustine, will preside.
The Consul General of Spain in Puerto Rico, the Honorable Eduardo Garrigues, has indicated that he will attend this special ceremony.
Clergy from the area’s various faiths will take an active role in the service.
Civic leaders from throughout the city and county have been invited; St Augustine’s Vice Mayor, Leanna Freeman, will be among the speakers.
After the original 19th century reading of the constitution, a traditional song of praise in the Church, the Te Deum, was sung to praise God for the news. The Chancel Choir of the Cathedral, under the direction of Dr Bernard Sans, will perform a metrical version of the Te Deum in English and other music for the celebration.
The community is cordially invited to join in the celebration. The Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine is located at 38 Cathedral Place across from the Plaza de La Constitucion