FR. ANDREW WRITES:
On Wednesday this week, we celebrated the dedication of Westminster Cathedral. The cathedral is the mother church of the diocese and its focal point. This means that everyone in the diocese has a special connection to it. So many things happen in the cathedral alongside the daily celebration of Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours, that is, Morning and Evening Prayer. Many diocesan events are held there. I was reminded of this at Rite of Election earlier this year, where people from various parishes in the diocese seek to either become Catholics or wish to be in full Communion with the Church gather together.
The cathedral is a unique and beautiful building in the Byzantine style designed by the architect Francis Bentley, (who built other churches in the diocese including, Holy Rood in Watford, St John the Evangelist in Brentford and St Francis of Assisi in Notting Hill which are all worth seeing). The liturgy is celebrated with great reverence and dignity something which enhances the atmosphere and beauty of the building. Many people are drawn by the beauty of the cathedral (also it is free to get in!) There is something about the awe and grandeur of such buildings that raises the mind and heart to God. They were built to the glory of God and often at considerable expense, which is why the mosaics on the ceiling are unfinished. Hopefully one day they will be completed. This can be seen as a metaphor for life. Each of us is on a journey. We are all a work in progress and will continue to be for the rest of our lives.
In addition to its beauty the cathedral is also an oasis of calm and tranquillity in the heart of London. The urban world is an especially noisy and restless place, so it is increasingly important to find these places of sanctuary. In recent weeks two significant events for the diocese have taken place there, namely the Diaconate and Priestly Ordinations. Five men were ordained to the Diaconate and five to the priesthood. These were great celebrations and showed the beauty of Catholicism. The Faith and tradition were passed on to another generation. There is a sense of timelessness to Ordinations. The Catholic Faith is ever ancient but always new. So next time you’re near or around Victoria why not drop by at the cathedral and enter to this beautiful building of tranquillity worship and prayer. Remember it is your cathedral too!