News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
We journey through the final days of Lent and on to Holy Week and the celebration of Easter throughout the course of the month ahead and the solemn liturgies celebrated in the Cathedral really emphasise the meaning and great importance of this time for us all.
The final two talks on our Lenten series ‘Walking in the footsteps of the Saints’ take place on the first two Tuesdays in April at 7.00 pm in the Gibberd Room. On 2 April Fr Denis Blackledge SJ will be talking on St Ignatius of Loyola and ‘the spiritual exercises’. The following Tuesday it will be the turn of Archbishop Malcolm who will be talking on St Augustine of Hippo and ‘The Confessions’.
We begin Holy Week gathering in the Cathedral garden for the blessing of Palms at 11.00 am on 14 April, weather permitting. This is one of the two days in the year when the passion narrative is sung (the other being Good Friday) which heightens the drama and meaning of the narrative. On Palm Sunday evening at 7.30 pm there is a special Holy Week Tenebrae Service.
On Wednesday evening we gather as a Diocesan family to take part in the Mass of Chrism at 7.30 pm. At this service the priests renew their commitment and the oils that are used in parishes across the Diocese for the celebration of the Sacraments are blessed.
The three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday all begin with a Choral Office of Readings and Morning Prayer at 10.00 am. They help to define a structure of prayer throughout these days focussing on the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord. The Evening celebration of the Lord’s Supper is both a thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist and a renewal of dedication to follow Christ through lives of service and this concludes with watching until 10.00 pm. On Good Friday Bishop Williams will lead a service of Stations of the Cross after the sung office and Archbishop Malcolm will preside in the afternoon at the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion at 3.00 pm.
All are welcome to join us in an ecumenical Walk of Witness through Liverpool City Centre on Holy Saturday beginning at 2.00 pm. Later that evening at 9.00 pm our Easter Vigil begins outside the main entrance of the Cathedral with the blessing of the Easter Fire and procession to celebrate, in Vigil and Eucharist, the Resurrection of the Lord. Our Easter Sunday Mass times are as a normal Sunday and we have a special Easter Choral Evening Prayer at 3.00 pm for Easter Day.
I wish you all a very happy Easter