Sunday, 27 May 2007

Pentecost 2007

Last night we celebrated a Pentecost Vigil - a service of readings and psalms inviting the Holy Spirit more deeply into our lives. During the vigil the apse was flooded with red light, symbolising the fire that was a sign of the Holy Spirit's coming upon the Church. The liturgy ended with Benediction, the litany of the Holy Spirit, and the 'Te Deum', an ancient hymn sung on important feasts.

Above, a scene from early in the vigil, before the red lights appeared. A fairly small congregation was present for the entire liturgy, though the numbers swelled as time went on, so most people got to see the lighting spectacular! The red light remains today. Below, a flame-like glow illuminates the Blessed Sacrament chapel during the 10:30am Mass.

Friday, 25 May 2007

More repairs

The scaffolding that had been on the south roof has now made its way round to Cathedral House. The chimney stack at the end of the house is leaning somewhat, so a rebuild is required. Let's hope it's not too windy in the meantime!

Pentecost Flowers

Eastertide comes to an end this weekend, as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost on Sunday. As ever, the volunteers who decorate the Cathedral with flowers have been hard at work, producing some wonderful arrangements in red - the colour associated with the Holy Spirit, manifested in the form of fire. Pictured are the Ambo (above) and the statue of St Peter (below).

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Urban Regeneration

As seen from Cathedral House, another crane being assembled on Lancaster's skyline. There's a fair amount of building work going on near the Cathedral at present. In time it should bring more residents and visitors to this part of the city.

Monday, 21 May 2007

A day with the Cathedral School

As part of his ongoing Jubilee celebrations, the Bishop spent today in the Cathedral Primary School. Staff and pupils had worked hard to prepare for the day, producing a 'this is your life' photo display and making a collage portrait of the Bishop. After a morning assembly, he visited each class; the day ended with Mass for the whole school, celebrated in the Cathedral.

Bishop Patrick was keen to talk to the pupils, and managed to learn quite a few names during the course of the day! The school presented him with a new chalice and paten, which he used for the afternoon Mass, and promised to treasure. Below he is seen at the altar with his chaplain, Fr Robert Billing.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Bishop's Ruby Jubilee

On Friday, it will be 40 years since Bishop Patrick was ordained priest. Yesterday we celebrated this great milestone - his Ruby Jubilee - in a packed Cathedral. Other priests of the diocese who are celebrating Jubilees this year joined the Bishop on the sanctuary. In his homily, Canon Ned Carey (who is also celebrating 40 years as a priest) spoke of the Bishop's commitment to working with the poor and the young, and his passion for the spread of the Gospel. The Bishop was presented with a cheque, the result of a collection taken by the priests and people of the diocese in gratitude for all his work. Ad multos annos!

After Mass, the Cathedral parishioners performed the amazing feat of feeding a few hundred people in the Cathedral Social Centre and a marquee set up for the day.

Above, the marquee; below, the inevitable cake-cutting...

...the icing read, "Bishop Patrick: the first 40 years"! Below, the Bishop picks himself out on an old school photo, part of a display showing pictures from his life.

And here are some of the helpers: a remarkable team who've given up endless hours over the last few days. Great job!

Friday, 18 May 2007

One Big Weekend

Down the road in Preston, Radio 1 is hosting its annual free music festival, 'One big weekend'. The Cathedral also has a big weekend coming up - tonight, Morecambe Brass Band are giving a benefit concert in aid of the Cathedral's organ restoration fund; tomorrow the diocese will gather with the Bishop as he celebrates 40 years since his ordination to the priesthood; Sunday is the feast of the Ascension, and there's another concert in the evening.

Most of Cathedral House has been taken over as we prepare for the Bishop's Jubilee Mass: every inch of fride space, every spare table...

This, for example, is the sitting room - now laid out with plates ready to be transferred into the marquee when it arrives tomorrow morning - and this is the library, laid out with vestments for the canons and other jubilarians who have come to celebrate with the Bishop.

An early start awaits us in the morning!

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Diocesan Altar Servers' Mass

Today altar servers - about 150 in total - came from all around the diocese for the annual Diocesan Altar Servers' Mass. It's wonderful to see so many servers of all ages. Most had to sit in the benches, though a few were able to actively assist the Bishop at Mass. The work of servers often goes relatively unnoticed (like so many jobs, particularly when everything goes well), but they add a great deal to the lives of parishes, and the Cathedral certainly relies on them! It's great to see their work being recognised.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Aiming high

Today the scaffolders have been in, rigging a small scaffold so that some roof repairs can be made. The Cathedral lost a number of slates in the stormy winter weather, so the roof needs a bit of attention in a few places. Now that the rains have returned there's no time to waste - although the water will certainly do the flowers no harm. The plants in the small garden here were donated by the Cathedral's architect, Peter Hatfield, after work on the new entrance was completed in December 2005.

Monday, 7 May 2007

A change is as good as a rest

Today it's a bank holiday, which usually makes for a quiet front door and telephone. While the banks etc. take a rest, the Cathedral has taken the chance to update its website. Today a new look is launched for the front page and diary; the 'guide' section, detailing the interior of the Cathedral, has also been renewed. Yesterday, the organ section had a makeover, so there's plenty to see:

Friday, 4 May 2007

Cheap - but not cheesy...

This evening the Cathedral is hosting the first of its summer season of concerts. All tickets for the season are priced at £5, a special rate celebrating the fact that over £60,000 has now been raised for the Organ Restoration Fund. Essential restoration work on the Cathedral's organ will begin later this month.

Tonight's concert is given by a trio of flute, bassoon and guitar. Hailing from Sweden, the group is called 'Svecia', which is (apparently) a type of Swedish cheese. Nothing cheesy about this, however, and a respectable crowd turned out to hear this very beautifully performed music.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

X marks the spot

Sometimes Cathedral life brings us into contact with the political world. Today's an obvious example, as our social centre is taken over to become a polling station for the local elections. At least it's handy for the priests to vote!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Does anyone have a gramophone?

On Sunday we asked the parishioners for any old photos or artefacts about the Cathedral. Our archive is surprisingly small, so hopefully the coming 150th anniversary will give us a chance to collect items and people's stories of years gone by. One parishioner has already responded, bringing in an LP of the Cathedral Boys' Choir accompanied by our fine pipe organ. The recording was made in 1981. Now all we need to do is find a record player! Learn more about the appeal on the 150th website.