This last week there were remembrance celebrations of the Blitz of Liverpool which occurred 80 years ago over the space of 8 days during WW2. The main commemoration was in St Lukes, ‘The Bombed out Church’ at the bottom of Hardman Street, this was damaged by bombs and fire on 6th May 1941. There was a short service in the roofless building last Thursday and those attending were asked to don coats and hats and have umbrellas on standby. However the weather was so bad with wind and rain that I decided not to venture out. In my experience hailstones and gale force winds are not very compatible with outdoor church services. Even though I was born many years later than WW2 memories of the blitz were still very evident. At the bottom of the street on which I grew up and the next street on which my gran lived there was a wasteland where the first five houses at the end of both streets had been completely demolished by one of the bombing raids. It was a great area for play and the centre of attraction on bonfire nights but it carried very real memories of families injured and displaced as a result of the war.
Over recent years there has been a considerable amount of change regarding the age and order of reception regarding the Sacrament of Confirmation. At one time it was conferred at age14/15 years which was considered to be an age when teenagers would be able to make their own acceptance of the faith that they had received from their parents. More recently confirmation was conferred before First Holy Communion with the desired intention to restore the correct order of reception of the three Sacraments of Initiation.
For a number of reasons this has now been changed again and Archbishop Malcolm decided that Confirmation would now be offered to those who would be in year 8 each year. This year is due to be the first year that this change is to take place and due to the restrictions we have already lost a considerable amount of time. Cardinal Michael has been booked to celebrate the Sacrament here at the Cathedral in November for our South Liverpool Deanery Confirmations. Over the next few weeks we will be advertising in the newsletter for those in year 8 or above who have not been confirmed to register. There has been mention of this within our Catholic Secondary Schools but for those within our parish who attend secondary schools outside of the catholic sector this may be the first time that this will have been brought to their attention. For those who wish to be confirmed this year – if they could, register on the website ‘liverpoolcalled.co.uk’ and also if they could let us know at the Cathedral office either by phone (709 9222) or by email to email@example.com. It will involve some preparation sessions which will take place in the autumn term.
Next Thursday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension, which is also the Anniversary date of the Dedication of our Cathedral which took place on 13th May 1967.
Canon Anthony O’Brien