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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 8th March 2020 Posted on Sunday 8 March 2020

Second Sunday of Lent
This Saturday parishioners from our local Pastoral Area will be making a pilgrimage walk of the Stations of the Cross visiting churches throughout the deanery concluding at the Cathedral at 4pm with a prayer at the final Station of the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. If you would like to join them for all or part of the walk it is open to all to take part.

Last Sunday we celebrated our Morning Lenten Masses in comparative darkness due to having no electrical power. As we recall the Gospel story of the Transfiguration this Sunday the hope is that we are able to do so in more glorious light and back to our normal routine.

On a number of the Sundays in Lent instead of Choral Evening Prayer the Choir will be singing a devotional cantata to offer us an opportunity for reflection on the passion and death of Christ Jesus. This Sunday afternoon at 3pm they will be singing a cantata entitled ‘Crucifixus pro nobis’ composed by Kenneth Leighton interspersed with two gospel readings. The cantata is in four parts – Christ in the Cradle, Christ in the Garden, Christ in His Passion, Final hymn of Resurrection. The piece was written in 1961 and the words of the cantata are based on a composition by two 17th century poets.

On Tuesday evening at 6pm in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel the Second Lenten Reflection will be given by Fr Stephen on the Gospel account of the Transfiguration.

We are awaiting the delivery of our new processional cross and acolytes later this month. These have been designed and fabricated by hand by the silversmith Rauni Higson, who has her studio in North Wales. This coming week on Radio 4 she features in a programme entitled ‘Living Natural Treasures’ which is a series of weekly programmes on artisans and craftspeople who design and make items that are handcrafted. The programme is on Wednesday evening at 9.30pm and Rauni is interviewed for fifteen minutes whilst she was working on the acolytes for our Cathedral. This will hopefully create some wider interest on the new processional set which we hope to be able to use for the first time at Mass in the Cathedral on Easter Sunday.

The Romero Trust has offered to donate a relic of St Oscar Romero to be permanently housed within our Cathedral in recognition that there have been memorial Masses celebrated each year within this Diocese since St Oscar’s martyrdom 40 years ago. There will be a special Choral Evening Prayer on Monday 23rd March at 6pm to receive the relic and to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of his death. His life is a current example of witnessing to Christ by literally taking up the cross and following Him. An extract from his final radio broadcast: “The Church, defender of the rights of God, of the Law of God, of human dignity, of the person cannot remain silent before such an abomination. In the name of God and in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise up to heaven more every day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God stop repression.” The next day Archbishop Romero was shot whilst celebrating Mass.

Canon Anthony O’Brien Dean
Cathedral Dean