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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 8th January 2023 Posted on Saturday 7 January 2023

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist marking the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. This Sunday also reminds us of the call that is made to all the baptised to live lives of witness to Christ. Whatever our hopes and resolutions for the year ahead, having celebrated the Feasts of Christs birth we pray that we will travel through the year with the Lord at our side guiding us and lighting our way.

Following the news of the death of Pope Benedict and the celebration of his Requiem mass at St Peters last Thursday we continue to pray for him echoing the words of Pope Francis at the funeral service  ‘Benedict, faithful friend of the Bridegroom, may your joy be complete as you hear his voice, now and forever.’ Archbishop Malcom will celebrate a Diocesan Mass in thanksgiving for his life and praying for the repose of his soul next Tuesday Evening at 7pm at the Cathedral. A big question remains as to whether Pope Benedict’s decision to retire from Papal Office will now be the start of a new trend of popes retiring or was it a one off moment of papal history?

Following the celebration of the Lord’s Baptism this Sunday we return to the ordinary time of the liturgical year. Next Sunday is Peace Sunday and the following Sunday is within the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. There will be a joint choral service of Evening Prayer on that Sunday 22nd of January at 3pm in Liverpool Cathedral – Fr Derek Lloyd will be the guest preacher at this joint Cathedrals Service.

Last year ended here at the Cathedral with lots of staff illnesses, a range of sad news and along with heating failures, discoveries of further leaks and flaws within the Cathedral building. The national picture with strikes and disputes and increasing overheads has also affected all of us. Who knows what the New Year has in store but we look forward with hope and renewed energy to a more positive beginning of the year. It will certainly mean donning hard hats here later in the year as building projects and repairs get under way. As for what else that may be in store for us this year beyond the regular rhythm of Cathedral life, we leave that to the grace of the Holy Spirit and to the wisdom and discernment of those in higher authority. May this be a Blessed year for us all and for our families and Cathedral community.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean