A Solemn High Mass has been celebrated at Westminster Cathedral, 28 June 2010, to mark the Centenary of its Consecration.
You can watch a video about the Consecration Centenary by clicking here
The principal celebrant was Archbishop Vincent Nichols and the Homily was given by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. (You can listen to the Cardinal's Homily by clicking on the green audio button) Those attending the Mass included the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, the Dean of Westminster Abbey.
The Catholic Cathedral Church of Westminster, which is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, was designed in the Early Christian Byzantine style by the Victorian architect John Francis Bentley.
Treasures of the Cathedral
The centenary will also be marked by an exhibition, ‘Treasures of the Cathedral’ which will be open to the public from Thursday 1 July 2010. It will display some of Westminster Cathedral’s most precious artefacts.
Later this year, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 18 September 2010 as part of his visit to Britain.
Canon Christopher Tuckwell
Canon Christopher Tuckwell, Administrator of Westminster Cathedral said:
“Every significant era, especially this one, is an opportunity for all of us in the Catholic community to re-consecrate ourselves to the service of Almighty God.”
'The Treasure of the Cathedral exhibition is a very exciting event and I hope that, by making available to the public some of the lovely things normally stored out of sight, it will arouse a greater interest in the Cathedral and its artefacts.”
“I consider it a tremendous honour to be the Administrator of Westminster Cathedral in the year in which we celebrate our Centenary and in which we look forward to the visit in September of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI” .
Archbishop Vincent Nichols
In his introduction to the Order of Service, Archbishop Vincent Nichols gave thanks to God for the dedication and hard work of the many people who founded and have served Westminster Catthedral since its foundation.
'Starting from the vision and determination of the Cathedral’s founders, Cardinal Vaughan and Mr Francis Bentley its architect, the list becomes long and distinguished, too long to be spelt out here in any detail. But in my mind and prayers are so many members of the clergy of the Diocese who have served the Cathedral, both its parish and its daily life, with dedication and, most often, cheerfulness. But I think, too, of so many generous volunteers and benefactors, many professional advisors and employees, who together sustain and develop the life of this great Cathedral. A very special place is, of course, held by the Westminster Cathedral Choir. Under a series of outstanding and innovative Masters of Music, the Choir achieves and sustains the highest standards of music, which enrich our Liturgy in a manner which is both remarkable and widely esteemed.'
About Westminster Cathedral and Treasures of the Cathedral Exhibition
Westminster Cathedral’s foundation stone was laid in 1895 and the exterior of the building was completed by 1903. However, canon law stated that no place of worship could be consecrated unless free from any financial debt incurred during its construction, so the consecration ceremony did not take place until 28 June 1910.
Treasures of the Cathedral will display some of Westminster Cathedral’s most precious artefacts including: vestments, chalices, communion plates, monstrants (used to display the Blessed Sacrament) and an altar front drape designed by the Cathedral’s architect John Francis Bentley. It will also tell the story of how the Cathedral was created and on display will be the architect’s model – judged by many to be one of the greatest architectural models in the UK.
Although it is a young Cathedral, Westminster’s collections span centuries. They include a fragment of silk from the tomb of St Edward the Confessor, a thirteenth-century ceremonial cross, a chalice used during the years when celebrating Mass in England was considered treason, an intricately decorated Edwardian altar frontal and an Art Nouveau monstrance. Mainly acquired for use in the Cathedral, they reflect the changing styles of the decorative arts but all are of the highest standards of workmanship and beauty.
The exhibition will be held in the upper gallery of the Cathedral meaning that entrants to the exhibition will be able to obtain a rare glimpse of what Westminster Cathedral looks like from an elevated viewpoint.