Fast-Day Concerts, April 1879

On page four of The Glasgow Herald, on Friday the 4th of April, 1879, the paper reported on the ‘Glasgow Fast-Day’, and the Fast-Day Concerts which were held in the city.

For those not familiar with the practices of the Presbyterian Church, Holy Communion, according to one source, was celebrated once a year, and Thursday was known as ‘Fast-Day’, when little or no work was undertaken by the congregation. An account of this tradition can be found with the Newsletter of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, at the website:


An extract from the article in the Herald reads:


“The Fast-Day in connection with the half-yearly celebration of the Communion was observed yesterday in Glasgow and the neighbouring burghs. Forming as it does the first break in the work of the year, the Spring Fast-Day is more and more losing its original character and becoming one of our most popular holidays, and never was it looked forward to with more eagerness, than at this time, at the close of a winter of unusual length and severity. … The usual services took place in the various Presbyterian churches, and where the pulpit happened to be filled by a popular preacher very good congregations assembled, but as a general rule the pews were very sparsely occupied. For holiday-making the various railway and steamboat companies afforded the usual facilities; and in this connection it is somewhat noteworthy that notwithstanding the extreme depression of trade, and the hardships which a large section of the working population have had to endure in recent months the number of excursionists seems to have been considerably in excess of that at the corresponding holiday last year.”


The article includes a break down of the various departures at the railway stations and the Broomielaw.


On page five of the 4th’s Herald, the paper provides short reviews of concerts of the Glasgow Tonic Sol-Fa Choral Society, at the New Public Halls; Mr. Lambeth’s Choir, at the Kibble Palace; and the Glasgow Select Choir, at the City Hall.