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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 26 November 2017 Posted on Sunday 26 November 2017

Christ the King
It was in the post first World War years that Pope Pius XI instituted a feast day in honour of Christ the King. Even though the war had ended Europe was still in a state of unrest and very quickly this became a breeding ground for the growth of Communism and rise of Fascism. The feast proclaims that it is only under Christ that true peace can be found and it also points to the fullness of time when His Kingdom will be fully established in all its glory. Over the fifty years that we have celebrated this Patronal Day those who have worshipped here have taken to heart these words of Pope Pius. “That Jesus Christ will reign over the minds of individuals when they accept his teaching, over their hearts by their response to His love and over their lives when they live according to His law and imitate His example”. A Happy Cathedral Feast day to all who are connected with our Cathedral or who are attending Masses and services this weekend.

Half the e-mails I received this week related to offers for Black Friday which were completely wasted on me and were a nuisance rather than an encouragement to convince me to buy anything. It did provoke the thought that if every bargain hunter gave 10% of the savings that they made from their purchases on that day it would probably raise enough to provide shelter and food for the homeless over Christmas and the winter period.

Due to the busy schedule of events in the Cathedral and Crypt for the month of December it can be very easy for us to neglect the opportunities that are offered during the season of Advent to prepare in a spiritual way for the celebration of Christmas. The word of God that is offered to us at Mass during this season is rich with meaning, full of hope and positively challenging. For the few adults who have the availability and wish to spend some time reflecting on the Advent readings we have organised four Wednesday evenings to deepen our understanding of and discuss the Sunday readings. The sessions are from 6.30-7.30pm in the former convent chapel in the student house next to Cathedral House – the first session is on Wednesday 29th November.

Next Sunday there will be a blessing with holy water at the beginning of all the Masses to mark the start of Advent and the beginning of the new church year. The Advent Sequence, a service of readings and Advent choral music, replaces the afternoon evening prayer and will be at the later time of 5pm.

Also for the season of Advent Archbishop Malcolm has asked all parishes to recite together a prayer after communion in preparation for the Eucharistic Congress in 2018 and the Diocesan Synod. It will be included in all our service sheets. It is printed below.

We thank you Father for the love you have shown us in the gift of Jesus, your Son.
Keep us grateful each day for the blessings that surround us.

As we are fed by you, so now send us out
to share what we have received with our hungry brothers and sisters.

We humbly ask your help to become the Church that you are calling us to be:
a community that listens, that trusts, that lives with courage and that puts out its nets into new waters.

May the gentle presence of Christ in our hearts be a source of healing, of new life and of a deeper trust in you. We ask this in faith through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.


Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean