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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 7th April 2024 Posted on Saturday 6 April 2024

Divine Mercy Sunday

After the very busy and glorious Holy Week and Easter Sunday, we managed to have a few quieter days celebrating the Easter Octave. The pace of life picks up again this week. This Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter is also Divine Mercy Day. Our service times return back to normal this coming week. Except for Thursday when the Chapter of Canons will be meeting here, therefore the 12.15 mass that day will be celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

The Solemnity of the Annunciation which would normally have been celebrated on 25th March didn’t take place on that date this year as it fell in Holy Week, and neither could it be celebrated in the Octave of Easter. Hence the feast is transferred to this coming Monday which was the first possible date for it to take place. Historically it marked the beginning of springtime and a new year – so let’s hope that the rains ease and we experience a few more sunny days having kept this joyful Marian Feast.

I would want to thank everyone involved in ministering, helping or preparing the Cathedral for the services over Holy Week and Easter. It is such an important, special and sacred time for us all and it can only be celebrated properly when we all work together. We had more people attending services over the Easter Weekend than any over recent years! Once again thank you and may we all experience a real sense of joy and peace over this Easter Season.

During this time we especially pray to our Risen Lord for his peace which embraces justice and reconciliation. In an Easter Message on the situation in Gaza in the Holy Land Cardinal Vincent Nichols concluded with these words:

 In Christian eyes, this is the land of Jesus.  Gaza is the pathway taken by the Holy Family on their flight from death.  Jesus returned.  He entered the realm of hostility and death.  In the Cross, his was a deep experience of abandonment.  Yet he was raised from that darkness and holds put to us the light and pathway of reconciliation.  He offers a security that no military power can match.  A hunger for this reconciliation and peace is already inscribed in every human heart.  May that longing overcome this terrible darkness, and be embodied in leaders who truly want peace, supported by people who will not allow that hope to be extinguished.

Canon Anthony O’Brien