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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 22nd October 2023 Posted on Saturday 21 October 2023

Pray for Peace

The supermarkets have been displaying Halloween costumes for the last month or so signalling the approach of November. Earlier this week I was surprised to find a huge area of Tesco taken up with containers of huge pumpkins for sale with the containers sagging under the weight of these giant gourds. Most of the people in the store at the time would have struggled to reach the checkout carrying some of these giants.

For us the coming month is a time of prayer for those who have died and all the departed faithful, to call on the invocation of the saints and to reaffirm our hope and belief in eternal life. In advance of All Souls Day and the period of November prior to Advent if you have any names to be included for the Pious List could you place them in an envelope marked Pious List and they can be handed in to be prayed for throughout the period.

Our Cathedral Choirs are on a brief tour to Holland this coming week. Singing evening prayer in Amsterdam, then for Mass next Sunday in Utrecht Cathedral and giving a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in Grote Kerke on the outskirts of Utrecht on Sunday afternoon before returning home that evening.

The unfolding events in the Holy Land have provoked shock, fear, revulsion and anger throughout the world. The killings of innocent Israeli citizens and taking of hostages was a deplorable act of Terrorism but the aftermath of this has led to the sufferings and death of so many innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking at the Angelus last Sunday Pope Francis said. “I renew my call for the release of the hostages and I strongly demand that children, the elderly, women and all civilians are not victims of the conflict.” Pope Francis also spoke of the need to respect Humanitarian Law calling for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for those trapped within Gaza. The Pope finished by a final plea. ”Brothers and sisters so many have already died; please do not spill any more innocent blood. Neither in the Holy Land, Ukraine or anywhere else. Wars are always a defeat. Please pray for peace. Prayer is the meek and holy force to oppose the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war.

God of Justice and Peace we bring before you the Israeli and Palestinian People in all their need, pain and fear. Bring an end to humiliation and injustice, corruption and violence. Prosper those who work for peace with justice. May both nations enjoy security and prosperity.  We ask this through Your Son, the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean