Fifth Sunday of Lent
With Holy Week and Easter fast approaching there will be little opportunity over the next month for other news so I thought I should take the opportunity to give further information on plans for our Jubilee in this week’s Record.
Saturday 13th May is the actual calendar anniversary of the opening of our Cathedral and there is to be a musical concert that evening in collaboration with the Bluecoat. One of the events in the period of celebrations after the opening ceremonies fifty years ago was the performance of ‘The Liverpool Mass’, a commissioned work of electronic music by the French composer, Pierre Henry. Unfortunately this wasn’t completed in time and another work by the composer was performed. The work was eventually completed and this will be the first time it has been performed in the building for which it was written. The Bluecoat is sponsoring this as part of their 300th anniversary in partnership with our Jubilee celebrations.
Light Night on 19th May is always a busy time on Hope Street. For our Jubilee Year the projection artist Andy McKeown has been collating past images and taking hundreds of current pictures of the Cathedral which he will mix together in a constantly moving projection around the sanctuary of the Cathedral accompanied by live choral music performed by our choirs. This will definitely be a highlight event of the Festival.
There are many volunteers, interviewers and interviewees, who have given considerable amounts of time working with Esther Simpson on the ‘Listening Trail Project’ creating a recorded archive of people’s memories and stories related to the Cathedral and Liverpool’s history over the last fifty years. The fruits of their work will result in the listening stations located in theatres and restaurants along Hope Street from late May and then in other parts of the city later in the year and finally ending up in the Cathedral.
The weekend of Pentecost from Friday 2nd June is our Anniversary Celebratory Weekend. The building will be bedecked and fragrant with flowers in what promises to be the grandest Flower Festival that we have ever had. Twenty two flower arranging groups from across the North West will be involved in these themed displays on Cathedral life.
We have the Grand Dinner in the Crypt on the Saturday evening (there are still the last few tickets available for this) and the Solemn Anniversary Mass at 11am on Pentecost Sunday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols will preach and a considerable number of clergy who have served in the Cathedral over the years will be present. The Cardinal will also speak at an afternoon Ecumenical Pentecost Service here at 3pm, involving all the church leaders on Merseyside, for a Service of Thanksgiving on the theme of ‘Thy Kingdom Come.’
On the Saturday following Pentecost the Liverpool Philharmonic are staging a Jubilee Concert at the Cathedral entitled ‘Gloria’ with works by Sir James McMillan who will conduct orchestra, soloists and joint Cathedral and Philharmonic Choirs in what should be a memorable celebration of sacred music.
The celebrations don’t end there. We are still hoping for a sponsor to enable us to have an exhibition of some of the other designs that were submitted in the international competition for the building of our Cathedral. There are children’s celebrations arranged for the Good Shepherd Mass and a production of Noyes Fludde in July. Later in the year as well as the return of ‘The Sixteen’ there are concerts planned for the Liverpool Welsh Choral Society, Westminster Cathedral Choir in conjunction with our own Cathedral Choirs and a whole Jubilee programme by the Cathedral Concerts Society involving Cantata Choir and Orchestra.
We want as many people as possible to be part of our celebrations this year which is why we have organised such a diverse and varied range of events with many of them free and open to all. However at the heart of all our celebrations is the weekly rhythm of our Cathedral liturgy – the Holy Eucharist and the Sung Office and it is at these celebrations throughout the year that we give thanks for all that has been accomplished here , in the Lord’s name, over the last fifty years.