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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Watch your language!

thumbnail image A month or two ago a Festival was abandoned after its first day following the death of two festivalgoers who had been supplied with drugs which turned out to be more powerful than expected. The organisers apologised for the cancellation, but indicated that they did so out of respect for those who had ‘passed’. The respect is appropriate, but ‘passing’? This made me realise how common it has now become to use that word, or ‘passing away’, as a synonym for ‘dying’ and ‘death’.

Of course, passing has a certain truth in it. At the core of our Christian faith is the hope of resurrection, our belief that earthly death is not the end of us, but the beginning of the full flowering of ourselves in God’s kingdom. We do indeed pass on rather than come to an abrupt end and dissolution; and there is a difference between ‘on’ and ‘away’. However, passing can easily cover up the reality of death. We would be unlikely to say that someone ‘passed of cancer’ or that ‘Jesus passed away at the crucifixion’. It has become more and more common for death to occur out of general sight in hospitals and as memorial services or similar (a celebration of the life of X) often happen some time after death and after the burial or cremation of the body, and it becomes easier to use the vaguer term of passing. As Catholic Christians we are profoundly committed to the importance and reality of the body, since we believe in the resurrection of soul and body at the end of time, and our bodies do not just pass away.

So let us be careful to stick with the language of ‘death’ and ‘dying’; if we do not, we fall into the trap of cutting ourselves off from the language of the scriptures, the language that should form our own way of speaking. See if these verses from St Paul, translated into our modern language of passing, make any sense to you:

‘Christ being raised from passing away will never pass again; passing no longer has dominion over him. The passing he passed away he passed to sin, once for all ..’ Romans 6:10.

‘Passing is swallowed up in victory. O passing away, where is thy victory? O passing away, where is thy sting. The sting of passing is sin ..’ I Corinthians 15:54.

It would be a good thing if passing and passing away passed out of our vocabulary.

Fr John Scott

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image Friday 17 August
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 18 August
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group

12.00 Hinsley Room Catholic Grandparents’ Association
14.00 Hinsley Room Filipino Club
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 20 August St Bernard, Abbot & Doctor of the Church
11.30 Hinsley Room Prayer Group
12.30 St Pauls Bookshop Daily Meditation (Monday to Friday)
18.30 Hinsley Room Christian Meditation Group

Tuesday 21 August St Pius X, Pope

Wednesday 22 August The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thursday 23 August
14.00 St Joseph’s Chapel Padre Pio Prayer Group
15.30 Lady Chapel Memorial Mass: Magda Staniulis:
Canon Pat Browne
18.30 Clergy House Rm 2 Legion of Mary

Friday 24 August St Bartholomew, Apostle
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 25 August
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
14.00 Hinsley Room Justice and Peace Group

12.00 Hinsley Room Nigerian Catholic Association
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.30 Hinsley Room Oblates Group
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group


thumbnail image We regret that we will not be able to provide tea after the 10.30am Mass on Sunday as the Hall has been booked for another function.


thumbnail image The July/August edition of Oremus, the Cathedral Magazine, is now available to read on Issuu. Please see below for the link to access a digital copy. Oremus will be published once again on the Cathedral website in the near future.

Related links: Link for Oremus July/August Edition


thumbnail image The Administrator, Canon Tuckwell, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new priests to the Cathedral: Fr Daniel Humphreys, who will take over as Sub-Administrator, and Rev Rajiv Michael who is to be ordained on 30 June. Fr Martin Plunkett will be leaving us to take over as Parish Priest at St Thomas More, Eastcote. There will be an opportunity to say goodbye to Fr Martin before he takes up his new duties in September. We wish them all well in their new postings.


thumbnail image Envelope Numbers 1203 and 1207
Do you use planned giving envelopes numbered 1203 or 1207? If so, please contact Anne Marie Micallef on 020 7931 6067 or email annemariem@rcdow.org.uk so that we can update our records.
Thank you to all Parishioners who give regularly - your contributions are very important for the Cathedral.

Regular Donor Envelopes

If you are a regular donor to the cathedral either by standing order or through the weekly envelope scheme and have signed a gift aid declaration, by using the small white Regular Donor Envelopes (or any envelope) and writing on it the number as shown on your blue envelopes OR your full name (first name and surname) we can claim any gift aid due on your contribution. It does not matter how small the contribution, for every £1.00 that we receive from a tax payer, we can claim 25p from the Government providing we can show who has made the donation. Regular Donor Envelopes can be found on the ledge next to the main doors of the Cathedral.

Related links: Email for Anne Marie Micallef


thumbnail image The Cathedral Café is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm for drinks, lunches and snacks. Please do pay a visit the next time you are in the Cathedral.
**Please note the Café will be closed from 25 August to 3 September inclusive for a summer break.**


thumbnail image This year’s Grand Organ Festival continues on Wednesday, 29 August at 7.30pm with a performance by Martin Baker, Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral. He will be playing pieces by Bach, Reger and Widor. Tickets (£12, concession £10) are available on the door (cash only). For further information please contact musicadmin@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Grand Organ Festival 2018 Brochure Email for Music Department


thumbnail image Westminster Cathedral Choir School (WCCS) is looking for a lunchtime kitchen porter to start on 4 September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. WCCS is a leading independent prep school and provides lunch for 230 boys and around 25 staff each weekday. The kitchen porter will help with washing up and clearing in the kitchen before and after lunchtime. The role may also involve setting up the dining hall for lunch and serving the food. The salary is £10.20 per hour, hours 11.30am-2.30pm, and the role is term time only.
Safeguarding: WCCS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff to share this commitment. Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers, referees and the Disclosure and Barring Service. Candidates should send their CV and letter of application to:
Mrs Joanna Stephens, Bursar, Westminster Cathedral Choir School, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 1QH, or email JStephens@choirschool.com.

Related links: Email for Applicants


thumbnail image The SVP would like to thank everyone who supported last Sunday’s book sale by donating and/or buying books, CDs and DVDs. We raised over £440 towards our work. Our next sale will take place on Sunday, 16 September – please put the date in your diaries.


thumbnail image This will take place on Saturday, 22 September and will be led by Cardinal Vincent and the Auxiliary Bishops. The coach will depart at 6.30am prompt from Ambrosden Avenue. Tickets are £10 for under 16s and £20 for adults. To book please leave an envelope with your name(s), telephone number and the correct amount in Clergy House Reception.


thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work and heritage of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non profit 501(c)(3) Organization (EIN # 13-2983174).

They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may be made through bequests and charitable trusts.

Contact Ms. Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., P.O. Box 92, New York, New York 10185-0092, e-mail UChang1@aol.com

Related links: Click here for email


thumbnail image This takes place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel every Monday to Friday following the 1.05pm Mass until 4.45pm.