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THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE: ON PILGRIMAGE

thumbnail image On Thursday evening I was coming back from celebrating Mass at St Patrick’s church in Soho Square. That is not an area which I frequent, but it was noticeable quite how crowded the whole West End area was; and it was not even the weekend. But at the same time, signs remain from the time of lockdown: a number of theatres remain closed and shops are empty, seeking new tenants. This Saturday the Cathedral is showing a similar face. Many more faces are appearing at Mass and and the church is looking respectably crowded. However, Saturday afternoon sees a Walsingham Pilgrimage Mass here, for the simple reason that we have not been able to get to Norfolk to visit the Basilica and National Shrine. Still, we wish to demonstrate our devotion to the Mother of God and she will surely be responsive to the prayer which we offer, just as she is when we go fully on pilgrimage to the place where she chose to appear to the lady Richeldis.
Not being able to go on pilgrimage in the last eighteen months or more has been a trial for many of us, but it may give us a renewed insight into what it means to come to Mass. The expectation is that the ‘Sunday Mass obligation’ will return at the beginning of Advent. We may well need to find more helpful ways to think about that than simply through the word ‘obligation’. Our whole concept of Sunday derives from the account of creation in the book Genesis, when God rests after all his work, and from the Ten Commandments, when the day of rest becomes also the holy day. Can we view our Sunday as a day when we go ‘on pilgrimage’, by making the decision to embark on a journey, with the intention that by making the journey and achieving our destination we shall be recreated people? If we think of coming to Mass as little more than getting out of bed and getting the bus to church, we are not in the best frame of mind to receive the spiritual benefit of being united to Christ. However, to see myself as a pilgrim, week by week, deliberately laying aside my daily concerns and assuming a new identity as a traveller who seeks to know himself and to be known by God may prove to be a helpful way of renewing my whole approach to Sunday Mass. The Third Eucharistic Prayer speaks to God of ‘your pilgrim Church’; that means all of us together from all the ages, but no less can it describe who we are individually. Pilgrims are voluntary people who recognise a need within themselves for a change of scenery that will test their stamina, certainly, but also fulfil them. May Sunday Mass become again our pilgrimage goal.

Fr John Scott

THIS WEEK'S DIARY:

thumbnail image The Cathedral is open from 7.30am until after the evening Mass each day.
* Live streamed via the Cathedral website.

Monday to Friday
Morning Prayer: 7.35am
Mass: 8 and 10.30am (Latin), 12.30 * and 5.30pm
Confessions: 11.30am-12.30pm, 4.30-5.30pm

Saturday
Morning Prayer: 7.35am, Sung Vespers (English) 5.30pm *
Mass: 8 and 10.30am (Latin), 12.30 * and Vigil 6pm *
Confessions: 11.30am-12.30pm, 5-6pm

Sunday
Sung Morning Prayer (English) 9.30am *, Solemn Vespers (English) and Benediction * 4pm
Mass: 8 and 10am*, 12 noon (Solemn, Sung)*, 5.30* and 7pm
Confessions: 11am-12 noon, 5-5.30pm


Sunday 12 September 24th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
4.45pm Organ Recital – Stephen Pinnock (Canterbury)

Monday 13 September St John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor

Tuesday 14 September THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
5.30pm Sung Mass (Bishop Hudson)

Wednesday 15 September Our Lady of Sorrows

Thursday 16 September St Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Friday 17 September Feria (Friday abstinence)

Saturday 18 September Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

Sunday 19 September 25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Second Collection: Home Mission Appeal
4.45pm Organ Recital – Marko Sever (Westminster Cathedral)


SACRED HEART CHURCH, HORSEFERRY ROAD
The Croatian Chaplaincy Mass is celebrated at 4pm.

COVID-19 UPDATE
As you may have seen, we are participating in the NHS Covid-19 App, to assist with track and trace. We do encourage you to make use of this app.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The Café reopens on Tuesday this week, although the Gift Shop remains closed at present. The Chaplains can be contacted through Clergy House Reception if you wish to speak to them or are in need of assistance.

LENGTHENED CONFESSION TIMES

thumbnail image The times for Confession have been extended:
On Sundays they are heard from 11am to 12 noon and from 5 to 5.30pm;
From Monday to Friday they are heard from 11.30am to 12.30pm and from 4.30 to 5.30pm;
On Saturdays they are heard from 11.30am to 12.30pm and from 5 to 6pm.
It is helpful if you can come earlier in each session rather than five minutes before the session ends.

FIRST COMMUNION COURSE

thumbnail image Enrolment for the First Communion Course for children of parish families in Year 3 will be available from Monday 13 September until Saturday 30 October. The course will commence on Saturday 6 November. Please contact Fr Vincent at vincentmbui@rcdow.org.uk for further details.

LECTIO DIVINA

thumbnail image This Bible sharing group will resume on Monday 20 September from 7 to 8pm in the Hinsley Room, located at the rear of St Vincent de Paul Primary School, entrance via Morpeth Terrace. Lectio Divina is the way we pray with the Bible, the way in which we make sense of our personal experience in the light of the scriptures. For further information please contact Fr Vincent on vincentmbui@rcdow.org.uk .

OREMUS MAGAZINE

thumbnail image The September edition of Oremus, the Cathedral magazine, is full of quality content and available now for collection from the stand by the main doors of the Cathedral. It can also be read online at the Cathedral website.
Please be sure to collect your copy, read it and perhaps pass it to a neighbour or friend.
Your donation toward the production costs is much appreciated.

COVID-19 GUIDELINES

thumbnail image Congregational singing is now allowed, which has brought the return of public Morning Prayer and Saturday evening sung Vespers. The Offertory collection is now in its traditional position during Mass. Confessions have resumed in the Confessional Boxes at the entrance of the Lady Chapel. Timings for all services and confessions are available on the parish website and on notices around the Cathedral.

We are aware that some of us may still be anxious about coming into public buildings. Therefore, we encourage the following:

That face coverings continue to be worn when in the Cathedral at Mass and busy services, unless you are exempt.
That you sanitise your hands on entering the Cathedral.
That, where possible, you try to leave two seats between you and other people not known to you.
We also ask that you do not come into the Cathedral if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been asked to self-isolate having come into contact with someone with the virus.

WALSINGHAM EVENT

thumbnail image The Westminster Diocesan Pilgrimage Mass will take place in the Cathedral on Saturday 11 September at 2.30pm. The Principal Celebrant will be Bishop John Sherrington.
A Divine Mercy / Our Lady of Walsingham Day of Prayer will take place in the Cathedral on Saturday 25 September, from the 12.30pm Mass until 4.30pm. The Principal Celebrant at the Mass will be the Administrator and the devotions will then be led by Fr Derek Hyett, with Lectio Divina by Fr Vincent Mbu'i.
Contact Antonia Moffat for further details: antonia@Walsingham.org.uk

REMEMBERING THE CATHEDRAL

thumbnail image If the time is ever right for you to remember a charity in your will, please remember the Cathedral. Every gift makes a difference. Simply add ‘Westminster Cathedral - registered charity number 233699’. For more information call Marie-Louise on 07596 855460 or email mlvanspyk@rcdow.org.uk.

SPONSORING SANCTUARY LAMPS

thumbnail image As you may be aware, there are various candles and lamps which burn perpetually around the Cathedral; particularly before the Blessed Sacrament, in the Lady Chapel, in the Sacred Heart Shrine, at the relics of St John Southworth, St Thomas Becket and St Edmund of Abingdon, and in the Holy Souls Chapel.
Would you like one of these to burn in memory of a loved one, or for a particular intention? If so, we ask for a donation of £10 per week, which will go towards defraying the costs of running the sacristy: candles, hosts, wine and other necessities for the celebration of Mass. Please hand in at Clergy House Reception or in one of the Cathedral’s donation boxes an envelope marked ‘Sanctuary Lamp Donation’, together with a note stating your particular intention, and the light you would like to burn for that intention.

MASS INTENTIONS

thumbnail image If you would like to have Mass offered for a particular intention please visit, call or email Clergy House Reception. Due to the exceptional circumstances it is possible at the moment for Mass to be celebrated for more than one intention, in what is known as a Collective Intention Mass. If you have arranged to have a Mass celebrated for a specific intention and do not wish to have that intention included with other intentions, please let us know.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CATHOLIC?

thumbnail image Adults who come to the Cathedral regularly and are interested in becoming a Roman Catholic or wish to explore the Catholic faith further, a group preparing for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) will commence on Wednesday 22 September at 7pm in the Hinsley Room. For further information please contact Fr Vincent Mbu’i at vincentmbui@rcdow.org.uk .