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Westminster Cathedral

Latest News

HOMELESSNESS

thumbnail image HOMELESSNESS
At Westminster Cathedral, thanks to our strong relationship with the wider Faith Volunteer Network and the rough sleeping team at Westminster City Council, we can be the first parish nationally to pilot a new community solution to homelessness, with help from Caritas Westminster and local homeless professionals. Do you have access to local accommodation or land; do you have the skills and resources to help one or more homeless person, or do you have time and patience to dedicate to helping someone? We are looking for a group of parishioners to come together to take shared responsibility, using the Community Homeless Response model, to ensure personal care for those in need. Will you come forward, to give someone a hand up, instead of a hand out? If yes, then please contact Clergy House Reception to find out more today, email CHReception@rcdow.org.uk.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR MASS AND CONFESSIONS IN THE CATHEDRAL

thumbnail image ARRANGEMENTS FOR MASS
The Cathedral opens half an hour before each Mass is scheduled to begin. The capacity of the Cathedral for each Mass is 239 individuals (120 households). Once this number is reached, the doors will be closed. The Sunday obligation is still suspended, so if you are able to come to a Mass on a weekday instead, please do so.
There will be no offertory procession, collection or sign of peace at Mass. Please make your usual donation through planned giving, online, or via contactless points, collection boxes around the Cathedral or the buckets at the doors.
There will be no congregational singing at Mass until further notice. There will be brief homilies at all Masses on Sundays and Solemnities, and at some Masses on weekdays.
Holy Communion is given in one kind, and will only be distributed on the hand and standing.
Worshippers should limit their interactions with anyone they are not attending church with, i.e. if they are attending Mass with another household, wherever possible they should maintain social distancing with anyone outside of this group. People are also required to wear face coverings in church.
CONFESSIONS
Due to the current restrictions, the hours for confessions are limited. They will be heard in the Baptistry or the Chapel of St Gregory and St Augustine.
The priest and penitent will be standing, face to face and at appropriate social distance. Your confession needs to be brief, so please arrive prepared.
TRACK AND TRACE CONTACT CARDS
Parishes have been advised to keep a record of those attending each Mass, which can be used to contact parishioners in the event that someone in the congregation tests positive for Covid-19 as part of the Track and Trace system. In the Cathedral and on our website ‘Contact Cards’ are available for you to fill in, which we ask you to bring on the next occasion you come to Mass, leaving them in the box available at the main doors. The cards will be kept in a secure location for 21 days before being destroyed. This is not a compulsory measure, but we encourage you to take part for the common good of our society.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The toilets, Gift Shop and Café remain closed.
Priests are available by appointment only; please call or email Clergy House to make an appointment.

AN EXTRA SUNDAY MASS AT 4pm FROM SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER

thumbnail image On Sundays people have been unable to get into the Cathedral for Mass through lack of space, so the afternoon times have been adjusted: there will now be an extra Mass at 4pm, whilst the 5.30pm Mass will move to 6pm, in the hope of accommodating all who wish to come to the Cathedral.
Meanwhile Solemn Vespers and Benediction will be celebrated at 3pm and will continue to be accessible only via the live stream.

CHAPLAIN’S MESSAGE: Healthy Guilt

thumbnail image Many people experience life as a long nightmare because of some past sin which they feel they cannot atone for. Of course, they cannot atone for it; none of us can atone for our sins, but it is not up to us to atone for them, because Christ has already fully atoned for them on the Cross and His perfect offering of Himself, as the sacrificial lamb without blemish, lacked absolutely nothing at all! His sacrifice completely atoned for our sins. Our response to the love and mercy of God should be one of sorrow and amendment of one’s life, not a frustrated desire to make the atonement ourselves. Sorrow and the amendment of one’s life joyfully embrace the unconditional loving forgiveness of God; the desire to personally make atonement rejects God’s forgiveness and our redemption by Christ. Mercy can only be shown to those who do not deserve it and God’s mercy is infinite! Like it or not, God’s love and forgiveness has absolutely no strings attached.

Those many unhappy people who carry guilt on their backs never know joy, because they misunderstand the unconditional quality of God’s forgiveness. They think only in petty human commercial terms; everything must be paid for, in a tit-for-tat way, to a vengeful God of retribution. “I have offended God; therefore, He will reject me, or at least severely punish me and make me suffer anguish and pain!” This is a self-imposed spiritual imprisonment; a death sentence for life, stemming from equating man with God, the most subtle form of PRIDE there is!

The liberating truth is that I am a sinner and God loves sinners; many people will never understand or accept this truth. There is an unspoken assumption that God loves me when I am good and turns away when I am not. This is the source of the guilt which hangs heavily around the neck until we are weary of living. Christ stove to correct and end this disastrous misconception. Two truths must be grasped if we are not to succumb to a guilt ridden existence. Firstly, that I am a sinner, which is often admitted. The second truth is not so readily accepted, that I am a sinner and God loves sinners. We are tempted to think that God loves us for every other reason but that one! Yet it is true! The people Christ found he could hardly help were those who saw themselves as righteous. Christ called self-righteous people, who hid behind rules, regulations and rituals, ‘hypocrites’ and ‘whited sepulchres’. He had to shock them to bring them to a realisation of their real status, as sinners, or he could not help them. Those self-righteous people needed a sense of healthy, liberating guilt. The sinful people needed a better sense of being forgiven by an unconditionally loving God, so that their guilt did not submerge them into deep despondency. Judas betrayed Christ and let guilt destroy him. Peter, on the other hand, betrayed Christ and let his guilt lead him closer to Christ and liberation. That is how we should all respond to God’s boundless love and mercy.

Fr Michael Donaghy

YOUR PRAYERS, PLEASE

thumbnail image Please remember the children who have now received their First Holy Communion.
Remember also our parish Confirmation candidates and those from Westminster School, who still wait to hear when they will be able to receive this Sacrament.
Please pray for the six men who would have been ordained in June, but are now scheduled for ordination on Saturday: Marco, Tim and William to the Diaconate and Deacons Alex, Axcel and David to the Priesthood.

CLERGY MOVES

thumbnail image The Cardinal has asked two of our chaplains to move to new work at the end of October. Fr Julio Albornoz will move to be Assistant Priest at St George’s, Sudbury and Fr Rajiv Michael will move to be Assistant Priest at Holy Trinity, Brook Green. We thank them both for their hard work over the past three and two years respectively. You will understand that there cannot be a parish farewell for these chaplains but hopefully there will be a future occasion when we can formally thank them.

SEPTEMBER OREMUS MAGAZINE PUBLISHED IN PRINT AND ONLINE

thumbnail image The September edition of Oremus, the Cathedral magazine, with the usual mix of informative quality content is now available for collection from the stand by the main doors of the Cathedral, at the Ambrosden Avenue exit and online via the homepage of the Cathedral website. Please do enjoy reading it and recommend it to or share it with your friends.

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, and at the relics of St John Southworth.
Would you like one of these to burn in memory of a loved one, or for a particular intention? If so, we are asking 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.

SACRED HEART CHURCH, HORSEFERRY ROAD

thumbnail image The church is closed and will remain so until further notice.

AMERICAN FRIENDS

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

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