Christ the King
Hidden away in the west side entrance of the Cathedral, dedicated as an area of prayer for prisoners of conscience and justice and peace, there is a small sculpture of Christ before Pilate which is set on the wall. It was a maquette designed by the artist Peter Ball as an example of a design for a set of ‘stations of the cross’ within our Cathedral. In the end it was the Sean Rice set of designs that were chosen by the Cathedral. Both images by Ball and Rice for the First Station express the humility of Jesus and the harsh judgemental way in which he was treated. Pilate points the finger at Christ to accuse Him and yet the pointed finger leads us to behold our King one who ‘came into the world to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to his voice’. As we celebrate our special Patronal Feast of Christ the King we pray for Our Lord’s blessing on our Cathedral and on us all. In both the Cathedral and the Crypt Chapel in bold letters, either above the entrance or set in gold on the front of the altar we proudly proclaim that He is our Way, our Truth and our Life.
There will be a special joint service of Choral Evening Prayer this afternoon at 3pm to pray for peace following the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at the service with many of the church leaders of Merseyside taking part along with ecumenical representatives from Cologne and involving both Cathedral Choirs. On Monday evening the 5.15pm mass will be offered for deceased religious who have served within the Diocese, Fr Godric Timney OSB from St Anne’s Parish Ormskirk, Episcopal Vicar for Religious, will preside at the service.
We begin the Season of Advent next weekend and on Sunday evening 2nd December, to mark the start of the new season, there will be a service of readings and Advent music ‘The Advent Sequence’ at 5pm, this will be instead of the regular Choral Evening Prayer.
I was contacted recently by Fr Sergio Haro, parish priest of Blessed Sacrament, Aintree, regarding the shrine of Santiago De Compostella. The parish has commissioned a carved copy of the statue of St James the Pilgrim, which can be seen in a number of places along the Camino route – based on the pilgrim statue in the Cathedral at Leon. They are unveiling the new statue in the parish next Sunday at the end of the 10am mass and someone had told Fr Sergio that a group from the Cathedral had recently walked part of the route so he wanted me to come along and bless the statue and say a few words about the pilgrimage. If any of my fellow pilgrims would like to come along and show off their certificates they would be given a warm welcome by the parish.
Canon Anthony O’Brien