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RELOCATION OF MASS, WEDNESDAY 15 AND THURSDAY 16 DECEMBER

thumbnail image Please note that with the Christmas Celebrations taking place in the Cathedral on these days, Mass will be celebrated as follows:
At 8am and 10.30am (Latin), in the Crypt Chapel of St Peter;
and at 12.30 and 5.30pm (said, after 5pm Vespers) in Cathedral Hall.
There will therefore be no live streamed Mass on those days.

THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE: THE MESSIAH

thumbnail image From the Mass Preface for Advent (no. 1): … “When your Son came among us as a man, He fulfilled the plan you formed long ago … Now we watch for the Day … when Christ will come again.”
With the passing of the ages there grew a furor messianicus within the Faith of Israel, and the vision deepens continuously despite paradoxes in the characteristics of the King to come which troubled the interpreters.

The King would rule over all the earth and all mankind, with a 'rod of iron’. Yet it would be also true that 'a sceptre of peace is the sceptre of thy Kingdom'. All mankind would become God's New Israel (Isaiah, Ch. 60), and all peoples are known by God as having their birthplace in Sion (the census Psalm, 87).

At the same time there is the disturbing vision of Isaiah (Ch. 53) of the Servant of God oppressed, his life made a sin-offering, reigning over kings only because he has first gone down into the dust of death. There is the anguish of psalm 22, with its prophecy of a worldwide religious dominion over all mankind after and because of the passion of the Witness of God.

The yearnings which all human hearts have for true harmony and peace had become communal and religious through the Hebrew prophetic tradition. It discerns the Prince of Peace, and not the fanatic's dream of conquest. He it was who would teach, enlighten, and pasture his people, whose throne would last for ever as would his personal reign; he it was who would cause the nations to beat their swords into ploughshares, and come in vast pilgrimages to the Holy City set upon Sion.

Jesus comes on a Visitation of his People, anointed by the Holy Spirit. "He came into His own Inheritance and his own People did not accept Him" (Jn 1:11). He comes as the One looked for by the people of Israel by the human heart and by the whole of human history: "We were chosen in Christ before the beginning of the world" (Eph. 1:4). We did not and do not accept him ... "but to as many as did receive Him, He gave power to become children of God (Jn 1:12) by giving the "Spirit of Truth".

This means the setting aside of enmity between God and humanity, the stilling of all vengeance, peace to men of goodwill. It also most perfectly fulfils the prophetic and historical meaning of the Entry into Jerusalem itself on the first Palm Sunday, the rejection by the ‘authorities’ which precipitated Christ’s seizure, trial and crucifixion, and the predicted calamitous time when, as the Advent Preface says, “Christ will come again”.

Fr Hugh MacKenzie

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, Sung Vespers (Choir, except Tuesday) 5pm
Mass: 8 and 10.30am (Latin), 12.30* and 5.30pm (Choir)
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, and, 5-6pm

Sunday
Sung Morning Prayer (English) 9.30am, Solemn Vespers and Benediction (Choir) * 4pm
Mass: 8 and 10am, 12 noon (Solemn, Choir)*, 5.30 and 7pm
Confessions: 10am-12.30pm, 5-7pm

Sunday 5 December 2nd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
1.30pm St Patrick’s Chapel: Divine Mercy Prayer Group
4.45pm Organ Recital: Simon Johnson (Westminster Cathedral) *

Monday 6 December Advent feria
2.00pm Woldingham School Christmas Carol Service

Tuesday 7 December St Ambrose, Bishop & Doctor
2.30pm St George’s Chapel: Walsingham Prayer Group
5.30pm Chapter Mass: Canon Colin Davies

Wednesday 8 December THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Patron of the Diocese

Thursday 9 December Advent feria

Friday 10 December Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto
All day Cathedral Hall: Blood Transfusion Service
7.00pm Cathedral Hall: Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 11 December Advent feria
10.00am Lady Chapel: Rosary Group
6.00pm Victoria Choir sings at Mass

Sunday 12 December 3rd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
1.30pm St Patrick’s Chapel: Divine Mercy Prayer Group
4.45pm Organ Recital: Marko Sever (Westminster Cathedral) *

CATHEDRAL GIFT SHOP REOPENING FOR CHRISTMAS

thumbnail image The Gift Shop will be re-opening on Saturday 4 December from 11am to 4pm and on Sunday 5 December from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Further days of opening will be advised in the Newsletter and in the Cathedral. Tickets for the Christmas Celebration will be available for purchase during these hours. The Tower Gallery and Exhibition will remain closed at this time.

LENGTHENED CONFESSION TIMES

thumbnail image The times for Confession have been extended further:
On Sundays they are heard from 10am-12.30pm and from 5-7pm; from Monday to Friday from 11.30am to 12.30pm and 4.30 to 5.30pm; on Saturdays 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.
As Advent progresses we will have additional confessors available at our usual times and will be extending the times of confessions in the last week of the season.

AFTERNOON EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

thumbnail image From Monday 6 December to Monday 3 January afternoon Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (1.15-4.30pm) will take place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in light of other events which are scheduled to take place in the Cathedral.

OREMUS MAGAZINE

thumbnail image The December edition of Oremus, the Cathedral magazine, packed with the usual quality content, is now available for you to collect from the stand by the main doors of the Cathedral. It can also be accessed from the homepage of the Cathedral website. Oremus continues to be free, but your donations help to keep it so. Please pass your copy, whenn you have read it, to an interested relative or friend and help to make the Cathedral more widely known.

CHILDREN'S LITURGY

thumbnail image The Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Family Mass commences this Sunday, 28 November at 10am. This is a special, separate Liturgy of the Word that takes place for children who are in Reception (aged 4) to Year 6. This allows the children to participate in this part of the Mass at an age-appropriate level while the rest of their family remain in church. A child must be attending Mass with a parent or guardian in order to participate in the Children’s Liturgy.

PARISH CAROL SERVICE

thumbnail image On Sunday 19 December Sunday 4pm Vespers will be replaced by the Parish Carol Service, followed by mince pies and mulled wine in Cathedral Hall. All are welcome.

FORTHCOMING FRIENDS' EVENTS

thumbnail image 10 December: Peter Stevens, Assistant Master of Music, will be giving an online organ recital of Advent music for the Friends of Westminster Cathedral at 7pm. Peter will also be joining the Friends via Zoom for a post-concert chat and drinks. Tickets £10.
16 February: Live from Queen’s College, Oxford, Dr Conor O’Brien on ‘St Patrick and the Early Saints of Ireland’. This is the second in our series of online talks based on the chapels of Westminster Cathedral. 7pm. Tickets £5.
To book, please contact the Friends Office on friends@rcdow.org.uk. All funds raised are going to the Friends and helping their support of Westminster Cathedral.

A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

thumbnail image Cathedral Christmas Celebration concerts, sung by the Westminster Cathedral Choir and Orchestra, will take place on 15 and 16 December at 7.30pm. We encourage everybody to purchase tickets quickly before this popular event is sold out. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.co.uk .