Friday, 14 September 2007

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The feast day, in which we venerate the Cross of Christ as a measure of his love for us, and the mark of his - and our own - victory over death, is a particularly important once for us at Westminster. We own four major relics of the True Cross; those depicted above and below are used for veneration after all Masses today.

In the sacristy, we also display the beautiful relic below.

It was the will of Cardinal Vaughan our founder, that Westminster Cathedral should not merely be a sign of the Catholic faith in our capital city, but that it should also bring blessings upon its citizens. Our fourth relic of the true cross is, therefore, situated at the base of the cross atop the campanile so that, as the Cardinal desired, it might bring a blessing upon the great city.

I am often asked (and have already been asked this morning) whether I really believe that these can be relics of the True Cross. I feel it is quite likely, given the human instinct to collect and venerate items associated with loved ones, or with great events. Safeguarding the Cross, even dividing it into fragments so that the followers of Christ might have some tangible association with Our Lord and his sacrifice, is a very human thing to do, and very understandable. I therefore treasure these precious relics, which not only bring our Saviour's sacrifice to mind, but also provide a privileged physical link with his saving death.

6 comments:

Martin Shaw said...

Father Mark, isn't it "Exaltation" rather than "Exultation" ??

Recusant said...

Today is also the day that the Holy Father's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, comes into force. What plans does the Cathedral have in relation to it?

Oh, and by the way, it's good to have you back Monsignor. Rested, I hope. We've been missing your beautiful chanting and your excellent homilies.

universal doctor said...

The Exaltation of the Cross surely Monsignor- our exaltation must precede our exultation.

Nick said...

It's great to have you back. Hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable time.

John the organist said...

How interesting about the relic on the top of the campanile!

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