Friday, 28 March 2008

In the Apse

An image of the Cathedral choir singing in the Apse on Easter Sunday Morning. This posting signals another short recuperative break, I'm afraid. I will be back on 3 April.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Easter Vestment

One of our fine vestements, in use this Easter season, boasts a beautiful image of the Paschal Lamb.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The Cathedral Mace Bearer

Albert Denehan is a well - known parishioner, who assists us in many ways. His most ceremonial role, however, is as Cathedral Mace Bearer, in which guise he leads the liturgical procession at Easter and Christmas. He is pictured above just before the sung Mass on Easter morning, outside the sacristy.

I'm not sure of the liturigical significance of it, but it certainly adds a dignity to the proceedings. The Cathedral treasury boasts two Maces, and they have been borne in procession for many years.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Sr Mericia's Miracle

Last year, Sister Mericia (of the community of Portuguese nuns who look after Clergy House) provded a stunning Easter cake - pictures of it are here. We wondered if she could equal that magnificent creation this year. She did - or rather, surpassed it!

The Paschal Lamb is portrayed upon the table of the Last Supper, with the bread and wine of the Eucharist ranged about.

There are stools (in solid chocolate!) set around the table.

The table is covered with a cloth, embroided with eucharistic symbols of grapes and wheat.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Mass of Easter Day

It was standing room only in the Cathedral on Sunday morning, for the Solemn Mass at 10.30

Above, Albert Denehan carries the Administrator's Mace at the head of the liturgical procession.

The choir was at its best; Holy Week is an intensely moving time, and the music deepens and expresses the religious mood.

At 3,500 in the congregation, we had to close the doors of the Cathedral, for reasons of health and safety. Numbers were significantly up on last year - despite the wintry weather!

Here, the Cardinal presides at the throne at the beginning of Mass.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

The Cathedral looked never more beautiful than at the Easter Vigil. We celebrated the resurrection of the Lord with a packed Cathedral, and welcomed 22 new members of the Church.

However, we felt we should be in another season, singing 'See, amid the winter's snow', as the wintry weather set in.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Blessing of Food

A popular ceremony that has become an established part of the Holy Saturday routine at the Cathedral is the Blessing of Food, a Polish custom, but one now enjoyed by many families.

Fr Slawek and Fr Dwayne celebrate a bi-lingual ceremony, and ask God's blessing for prosperity and plenty in the coming year.

Awaiting the Resurrection

Many thanks for your patience and kind messages - and above all your prayers - during my illness. I am not fully recovered and will not be returning to work for a while, but can at least begin posting again, even if not on a daily basis. Marcin Mazur has been taking images of the Holy Week ceremonies, and I hope to post them soon.

Today, Holy Saturday, is a day of waiting. Christ lies in the tomb, and the desolation is symbolised by the bare altars, empty tabernacles and covered images in the Cathedral. Above is the Blessed Sacrament altar, denuded of decoration, and the presence of the Lord.

As far as the Cathedral is concerned, this is also a busy day of preparation for the summit of the Christian year, the Easter Vigil celebrated this evening. Above, the candlesticks and other items stand beside the main sanctuary, ready to be restored for this evening.

I noted the handbells, to be used for the strepitus - the half-minute of joyful cacophany - during the Gloria.

Not to be forgotten, the Easter Eggs that will be distributed to children after Masses tomorrow.

Friday, 7 March 2008


I am afraid that illness continues to lay me low, and that I shall be out of action at least until Easter. I hope to return to the blog as soon as possible after that.