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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 3rd December 2023 Posted on Saturday 2 December 2023

First Sunday of Advent

We begin the new season of Advent this morning with the rite of Blessing with water or ‘Asperges’ to give it the proper liturgical title and the blessing and lighting of the wreath which marks a new start to the year.

The readings this Sunday urge us to be awake to the presence of the Lord in our lives and looking ahead to when he will come again. It is also a reminder to us here at the Cathedral of the urgency of being ready for the wonderful mixed bag of events that lead up to the Feast of Christmas which will demand all our energy and time each day for the next four weeks.

The choirs have busy rehearsing along the corridor for the Advent Sequence which is at 5pm this Sunday.

Meanwhile in Cathedral House the final version of the script for the children’s Advent Services is being printed out for the cast who will be taking part. The children’s services will take place next Wednesday, with a dress rehearsal on Tuesday. The Cathedral cast of adults never seem to have time to learn their lines for this production so we have to scratch our heads to work out appropriate props around the sanctuary with prompts on so that the cast know what to say. The problems come when someone inadvertently moves a crucial prop away at the wrong time. With a eight hundred strong children’s choir the Cathedral will be full to capacity with children that afternoon.

The first few pre-Christmas charity events and carol concerts begin in the Cathedral this week. On Monday evening the Wirral Catholic Multi Academy will gather in the Cathedral for their Carol Concert. On Tuesday NSPCC are holding their annual Carol Concert which has been a regular seasonal event within our Cathedral for the last decade.

The Second Sunday of Advent is also known as Bible Sunday and is in a special way a day of encouragement to us all to be open to the Word of God. The Pauline Sisters will have a stall at the back of the Cathedral and Crypt at all the masses that weekend. They will be especially promoting their new publication known as Gospel Power which contains all the weekend and Sunday readings throughout the coming year with a little reflection each day on the readings. Also on the Second Sunday of Advent the Boys Choir will perform Benjamin Brittens ‘Ceremony of Carols’ following Evening Prayer at 3pm.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean