Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Church is assembled around the Lord's altar: our diocesan Bishop, together with brother Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful. Representatives of almost every parish in the Diocese were present.

Some young members of Bishop O'Donoghue's family brought forward the gifts to be used for the celebration of Mass.

Here, the deacons prepare the gifts while two altar servers look on. The servers were exceptional at this Mass, and their ability is testimony to the work they do all year round. Week by week, they develop the skills and confidence they need to serve with dignity and reverence at larger occasions such as this.

Bishop Emeritus Patrick O'Donoghue stood close to the altar; Cardinal O'Brien is seen looking on.

For the last year we have been used to hearing the words, "Patrick and Michael, our Bishops" during the Eucharistic Prayer. From this Mass only Bishop Michael's name is used; or, when the Bishop himself says the words as on this occasion, he prays for "me, your unworthy servant." The naming of the Pope and Bishop is not just because we pray for them; it also reminds us that it is through the Bishop, in union with the Pope, that the worldwide communion of the Church is preserved.

For the distribution of Holy Communion, Bishop Campbell and Bishop O'Donoghue were assisted by Bishop Brian Noble (Shrewsbury) and Bishop Artur Roche (Leeds). After the hymn the choir sang a setting of Psalm 116(117) by Camille Saint-Saëns. A number of people, including Bishops Michael and Patrick, commented on how well the choir sang; again, it is because of hard work all year round that the choir were able to sing so well.