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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 26th February 2023 Posted on Saturday 25 February 2023

First Sunday of Lent

With the wearing of purple and the absence of Alleluia’s and Gloria there is a change of mood within the church’s liturgy as we begin the season of Lent. The Gospel for this First Sunday recounts Jesus’ journey into the wilderness for 40 days and the temptations he overcame. We too journey over these next forty days seeking strength and mercy from The Lord to overcome all that impedes us from loving and following him.

The season of Lent originally developed in the early centuries as a final period of preparation for catechumens before their reception into the church at Easter as well as being a final period of penance for those who had apostasized (abandoned their faith) in the face of persecution. The whole church community joined them in fasting and penance in preparation for the celebrations of Holy Week.

This Sunday afternoon at 3.00pm Archbishop Malcolm will lead a service of welcome to admit adults who have been preparing to be received into the church from many of the parishes across the Diocese. There are several candidates from our Cathedral parish who have been preparing since October who will be taking part in this service and who will be received into full communion at the Easter Vigil.

On Sunday afternoons for the next Sundays of Lent our choirs will be singing a selection of Lenten devotional pieces in place of Choral Evening Prayer. Next week at 3.00pm the choir will sing the passion section of Handel’s Messiah.

There will also be Stations of the Cross every Friday following 12.15pm Mass.

 CAFOD Family Fast Day – Lent Appeal

This Lent, your donations to CAFOD’s Family Fast Day Appeal will help families fighting the climate crisis and ensure that our Church network can quickly respond to emergencies, like the recent earthquake in Syria and Turkey. Please support us next week or during the time of lent using the envelope or at and please join us in praying for CAFOD’s development and emergency response work all over the world.

Following the tour of the relics of St Bernadette a short video has been made available of the story of Bernadette’s life with footage from the various Cathedrals and churches that were visited during the tour last year. I think it is very well produced and if you would like to watch it I enclose the link below. I think they would have wanted to include a short clip of our torchlight procession but the wind was that strong that evening that they couldn’t hold the camera steady to get a decent clip of film, despite this our cathedral is featured in the film.

The Cathedral is featured 5.55 into the video.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean