Thursday 30 April 2009
Wednesday 29 April 2009
20th May is the 100th anniversary of the appointment of Dr J. H. Reginald Dixon, the brilliant musician and singular character who served as organist and master of music here from 1909 to 1971. Many parishioners have fond memories of this extraordinary man whose music was performed all over Europe. The anniversary is being marked with a 'Dr Dixon Festival', part of the Cathedral's 150th anniversary celebrations. You are welcome to join us for: a talk on Dr Dixon's life (Friday 15th at 7:30pm; free entry), a performance of some of his music (Saturday 16th at 8pm; tickets £8, concessions £6) and an organ recital given by Joan Johnson, his last student (Wednesday 20th, 7:30pm; admission by donation). You can find more details on the Cathedral's concerts and events page, here.
Canon Billington will feature more on Dr Dixon during the month of May. Other highlights on Billington's Blog in the coming month will be reports on the opening of St Thomas More's and the installation of Bishop Brewer, who took over from Bishop Foley in May 1985. Much to look forward to! Billington's Blog can be found here. Today he reports on the blessing of the Cathedral's foundation stone on this day in 1857.
Tuesday 28 April 2009
Monday 27 April 2009
Many of the young people of the Diocese have great affection for Bishop Patrick, who has accompanied them to the World Youth Day celebrations in Toronoto (2002), Cologne (2005) and Sydney (2008), and has always been a keen supporter of the Lancaster Lourdes Pilgrimage Youth Section. The Bishop has also worked hard to build up provision for youth in the Diocese and regularly calls in to youth events. Some of the young people of the Diocese have put together a tribute to the Bishop on YouTube, featuring pictures of the Bishop and some scenes from around the Lancaster Diocese. It lasts about five minutes and can be viewed by clicking on the image above. The Blog will, of course, have its own tribute to Bishop Patrick later in the week.
Sunday 26 April 2009
The Bishop was celebrating Mass for Women Together in the Diocese of Lancaster, who had asked him to do so as a farewell before his retirement on Friday. The group also had lunch and held a meeting at the Cathedral in the afternoon.
Women came from across the Diocese for the celebration; a number of religious women were among those who attended.
Saturday 25 April 2009
Thursday 23 April 2009
Wednesday 22 April 2009
Despite the poor weather and the fact that the Pope was out of town, a large crowd gathered in the square to wish him well as he begins the fifth year of his pontificate. Seemingly the Pope is drawing bigger crowds than his predecessor - quite some achievement given Pope John Paul's popularity. It has been remarked that in days past the people came to see Pope John Paul; now they come to hear Pope Benedict, whose brief reflections always contain plenty of food for thought.
Tuesday 21 April 2009
The Bishop presented Pope Benedict with copies of his acclaimed documents, Fit for Mission? Church and Fit for Mission? Schools. His Holiness spent some time looking through the documents and thanked Bishop Patrick for the work he had done, not only in these publications but throughout his eight years in Lancaster.
Meanwhile, in the background, another bishop took the opportunity to zoom in for a picture!
Monday 20 April 2009
The clergy often use these opportunities to catch up on each other's news - the stroll through the garden is a perfect opportunity for a brief pre-Mass chat!
Here the Bishop, about to enter the Cathedral for his last Chrism Mass in Lancaster, shares a joke with some of the Canons.
Sunday 19 April 2009
Friday 17 April 2009
Inside the tomb, the grave-clothes are seen folded up, just as the Gospel records. It is wonderful that the younger members of our parish have taken time to visualise the scene and to think about its meaning.
Thursday 16 April 2009
Outside the front door of Cathedral House, the flower beds look particularly fine.
Meanwhile, inside the Cathedral our flower ladies have once again excelled. This display stands just in front of the main altar. The flowers in church are not mere decoration; they are a sign of new life coming forth, and a reminder that all life has its source in God.
Wednesday 15 April 2009
Tuesday 14 April 2009
Certain elements always appear on the candle. The alpha and omega - the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet - appear above and below the cross, reminding us that Christ is "the beginning and the end". The date - 2009 - is seen around the candle. Five grains of incense in gold-coloured studs are inserted into the candle at the Easter Vigil. These are references to the wounds of Christ, just as His risen body retained the marks of His death (see John 20:27).
The rest of the decoration varies each year. This time around the candle is decorated with six bands representing the six days of creation. Here we see the creation of day and night on the fourth day; the sun and the moon and stars are created. Using the days of creation as a theme for the candle seems appropriate, as the resurrection is a new creation. Now God recreates the world, restoring humans to His image and likeness. The Gospel reading for Easter Sunday began by telling us that "it was very early in the morning on the first day of the week, and still dark" when the women went to the tomb. In the darkness, on the first day of the week, God again says "Let there be light."
Sunday 12 April 2009
The Paschal Candle, standing over 10 feet tall once in its stand, stands out well against the light of the setting sun...