Throughout Lent, we offer the opportunity to walk with Christ along the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. This devotion was first developed during the Crusades and has been highly recommended by the Church ever since. We will follow the Way of the Cross each Thursday to Holy Week on Live Stream only beginning at 7pm. The Cathedral will not be open during the meditation to comply with Covid regulations.
The Stations open new ways of thinking about Jesus’ journey and demonstrate how the passion story, in all its savagery, continues in our own time. The Gospel best comes alive when the story of Jesus resonates deeply within our hearts and our personal experiences. Fr Cavan, Deacon James and Deacon Paul will choose a different Stations each week which will be available on our website for you to download.
We very much look forward to sharing this holy time with you.
You can download a copy of the Bishop’s letter here (pdf) Pastoral letter Lent 2021
Dare to Dream
Bishop Declan invites each one of us to take time during this coming Lent to reflect on the life of our Diocese as we move forward out of the pandemic. Inspired by the writings of Pope Francis, ‘Dare to Dream’ encourages us to think about God’s invitation to each one of us to shape the future of the Church, particularly in this corner of the world. Each reflection is accompanied by a video which we encourage you to watch before engaging with the scripture offered. This resource can be used by individuals, by families or by already established on-line parish groups.
As we move towards Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, an introductory session will help to orientate us for the weeks ahead. Each session has a similar framework to follow. The reflections and videos will appear on the Diocesan Website under the banner – ‘Dare to Dream’. We are encouraged to read the accompanying resource before we set out on this journey through Lent and later onwards to Eastertide. Each new video and reflection will be available on the Friday before each Sunday of Lent.
Taking time during Lent will enable all of us to contribute more fully to the conversations that every deanery will be having to discern how we grow our parishes to be places of mission, serving the poor and responding out of our abundance to the needs of the local community and the wider world.
Ash Wednesday was one of the last Masses sung by the full choir in 2020, this recording of our Passiontide Meditation includes pieces sung then and over Lent.
CAFOD Lent Appeal
Countdown to COP26 for the Care of Creation
What does COP26 mean?
COP26 is the annual UN climate conference. A ‘COP’ means ‘conference of parties’.
Governments and negotiators from across the world will travel to the meeting to discuss how to keep temperature rises below dangerous levels and prevent the climate crisis from causing even worse catastrophes for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
The COP is a summit of all the countries which are part of the UN’s climate change treaty, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or ‘UNFCCC’. There are 197 members of this process and they are known as ‘parties’ to the treaty.
The panels below include some scripture to help us think about climate change…
Week of Ash Wednesday
As Lent begins, we can pray, fast, give, make small changes and talk about them, make our voices heard for real change to protect the planet. One way is to say Grace before all Meals.
In Laudato Si the Pope asked us to revive the tradition of saying Grace before and after meals. We could extend the grace to a global gratitude, for the fertility of the world and the precious soil which produces the food, for the animals, insects and birds who helped its growth, for the rain, wind, sun, darkness, cold and heat which allowed it to grow, for the stability of the atmosphere and weather, for the farmers who planted, tended and harvested the food; we can ask forgiveness for the exploitation of the earth through overuse of pesticides, monoculture and overproduction, the industry which crosses the globe, and which stores and packages the food, and for the way our food is unequally distributed, leaving many hungry, who are homeless, jobless, refugees fleeing famine and conflict, and those who are too ill to eat. We thank God heartily that we have food and ask blessing and provision for all those who do not.
First week of Lent
The Pope has asked for a new appreciation of the interdependence of all things in our beautiful planet
The parable of the seed growing by itself; Mark 4:26
This speaks of the kingdom of God, but also speaks of the bounty of the world. We could extend it by 10,000 and more reasons for thanking God. For example, when we wake, we can thank God that we have breath, and that we have had air to breathe all the time we were asleep, for the loveliness of light returning, for our strength as our muscles respond to our thought, for the warmth of the atmosphere and the stability of gravity, for the peace in our streets… and that is in the first seconds of waking up!
Second week of Lent
Many, many people are warning of the fragility of the planet under human pressure and the need for change. We might consider this story in that context.
The parable of the Mustard Seed; Mark 4:30
The mustard seed produces a huge bush that shelters the birds. Life also emerges from tiny beginnings and the whole web of life supports all life, from insects and microbes to animals fish birds and people. What if the tree is shaken, so that branches are broken off, leaves ripped from the branches? This is not in the parable but is what is happening to our world. It no longer provides reliable seasons in many places, and indeed many people are suffering from repeated ‘natural disasters’ now, attributable to human activity by scientists. How sad this is.
Third week of Lent
We have many reactions to news of the climate crisis. The Pope urges us that we can make change.
The parable of the sower
What do we feel about climate catastrophe? Do we feel grief? Disbelief? Helplessness? This parable can help us understand different responses.
- Some seed fell on the path, we kind of hear and forget because it is all too difficult to take in and think someone else will sort it, or technology will solve it
- Some fell on the rock, we hear with grief what is happening, but then our personal concerns take priority, and we find it difficult to focus on change.
- Some fell among thistles, we see the problem as so enormous, nothing we can do will make any difference, so our good intentions are swamped in helplessness and despair
- Some fell on good soil and we decide to change. In time we discover a better, happier, healthier life…
Fourth week of Lent
Trust in providence; Luke 16-24
This passage begins with the man who had such a good crop he planned to build new barns to store and ends with the ‘lilies of the field’ in the Matthew version. This might be seen as a criticism of the culture that demands infinite growth in a finite planet. As David Attenborough said, the person who believes this is possible is either mad or an economist! Modern technology has, as the Pope says in Laudato Si, brought so many benefits and so much beauty, but has also led to our using up the resources of the planet quicker than they can be replenished. If that is where our treasure is, the planet will soon be exhausted, whereas if we live more like the lilies of the field in harmony with our surroundings and not depleting them, we will appreciate the riches, variety, and beauty of creation…Change really is possible. This is the year we need to make major change at COP26.
New Resources for the God who Speaks and opportunities for Lent.
For this Lent at Home The Bible Society have some new resources and updates. Visit godwhospeaks.uk/lent-at-home for more information.