Tuesday, 6 October 2009

150th Anniversary Mass - part 2

A longer than usual procession entered at the start of the 10:30am Mass on our anniversary day. Amongst the additions were a number of priests; yesterday's post mentioned Fr Anthony Keefe (at the front of the procession, nearest the camera), who is Parish Priest at Claughton; also worthy of a mention is Monsignor Canon Peter Verity (seen here behind Fr Keefe). Mgr Verity is part of a long line of Verity Catholics in Lancaster, and his ancestors were among those who contributed towards the building of the church. He grew up in St Joseph's parish over the river, and currently works as a Spiritual Director at Ushaw.

In total, five bishops and seven priests were present. Here Bishop Campbell, who presided at Mass, prepares the thurible for the Gospel.

Deacon Rev. Bill Wright (of St Mary's, Fleetwood) read the Gospel, which told the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus. "Today salvation has come to this house", the Lord told him - they seem very appropriate words for this occasion too.

Rt Rev. Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham, preached. He spoke about the importance of knowing our own identity, and how as Catholic Christians we trace our roots right back to Old Testament times. As children of God we have royal ancestry, he told us, and being aware of this can help us to live our vocation as followers of Christ.

Here Bishop Campbell and the two deacons stand by the altar as the Eucharistic Prayer begins. It may seem strange that there are no candles; in fact, there are seven! They are off the picture, above the screen which can be seen beind the cathedra. Seven candles are lit when the Bishop celebrates Mass; when this happens, the six which usually stand on the altar are removed.

Here the servers come forward to receive Holy Communion - there was a great crowd of them for this special celebration. To the left of the picture, in the second and third benches, you can also see some papal knights who attended the Mass.

At the end of Mass, Bishop Campbell thanked all the visitors, especially Bishop McMahon. He then gave the Bishop's blessing.

Then, with the diocesan crozier in hand, he left the sanctuary. Bishop Campbell is the sixth man to occupy the cathedra of Lancaster. This church has now been a cathedral for 85 of its 150 years' existence. Tomorrow's post features some of the afternoon events, and there are more pictures to follow later in the week.