*The below message is taken from the weekly Cathedral Record newsletter. The full Cathedral Record is available to pick up from the Cathedral or can be downloaded here.*
New Candle System
It was so overcast most of last week that it wasn’t until Thursday that some of our daily congregation suddenly noticed that there was netting in place below the Cathedral lantern and that work was already underway high above the main space. With repair work taking place both inside and outside of the Cathedral we have had to locate the works cabins on the hard standing area outside the Cathedral Car Park and they will be sited there for the next couple of months. It may also mean that some of the stepped entrances to the Cathedral podium will be closed for short periods to enable repairs to be carried out. The slight inconvenience caused will be worth it in the end.
Next Saturday there will be a half day gathering of all the couples who will be getting married in the Cathedral this year. This has become an important part of the lead up to the various celebrations of the Sacrament of Marriage in recent years and provides an enjoyable opportunity for couples to reflect on the importance of their relationship, the role of faith and the celebration of the sacrament of marriage. One of the facts, shared on the day, that always strikes home to me is in reference to the way we communicate with each other, that most of our communication (93%) is conveyed in ways other than words – body language, tone of voice etc – and yet we pay so much attention to the words we use rather than how we deliver them. This year we have ten couples getting married here either in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel or the Crypt.
Our schools are on half term break this coming week and we are grateful to the Liverpool University Singers who will be singing at Solemn Mass this Sunday. Next Sunday we celebrate the Annual Civic Mass at 11am. Hopefully there will be a wide representation of Civic, Legal and Public Service leaders and representatives joining us for Mass when we offer prayers for our city and local regions and for all who hold public office. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at the Solemn Mass next week.
We have been made aware of a new candle burning votive light system that is relatively smoke free and much safer and cleaner than our current arrangements with any residue wax being recyclable. Apparently it is now in use in Cathedrals and churches throughout Ireland and the United States. Within the next few weeks we are going to have a months trial to see how it will work in practice here, which will mean replacing the votive stands in the Cathedral and the Crypt Chapel. The stands will be new and much better quality than our existing ones and will be more in keeping with our building. The only downside is the cost of such a system – if after the trial period we agree to have them permanently we will have to request that people make an offering of 50 pence to light a votive candle. Please let me know your views when the system is in place.
The season of Lent will be upon us shortly with Ash Wednesday on 1st March. We will as usual be holding a few Lenten Talks – more information on this next week.