Tickets are now on sale for our annual Christmas concerts which celebrate the mystery of Christ’s Incarnation in carols and readings performed by the world-famous Westminster Cathedral Choir, orchestra, and celebrity readers, on 19 and 20 December at 7.30pm. We encourage everybody to purchase tickets quickly before this popular event is sold out. Tickets can be purchased from the Cathedral Gift Shop or from the Ticketmaster, go to www.ticketmaster.co.uk and type in Westminster Cathedral when prompted.
THE BIG GIVE APPEAL
We are really happy to let everyone know that the final phase of the installation of the new lighting in the Cathedral is now complete. We are all delighted with the result. The Cathedral is now illuminated in a way that not only enhances the beautiful architectural features of the building and improves the liturgical and prayerful experience, but also enables us to take huge steps towards a more sustainable future by reducing running costs and carbon emissions.
The Society of the Friends of Westminster Cathedral is helping us to raise the final amount of money to cover the cost of this project. We are delighted to inform you of their Big Give, Matched Funding Campaign with online donations. The goal is to raise £80,000 towards the cost of the installation of the new sanctuary lighting. For all donations made between 12.00 noon on Tuesday 28 November and 12.00 noon on Tuesday 5 December every £1 given is worth £2 with matched funding and £2.25 if you can tick the Gift Aid box. We appeal to your generosity. To donate please use this link: https://bit.ly/FriendsBG23/.
May God repay you generously for your support. We are sure that with your help we will be able to reach the goal.
Enrolment for the First Holy Communion course for children in Year 3 or above is now open for parishioners. The actual sessions will commence on 20 January 2024, and the celebration of the First Holy Communion is scheduled for Saturday, 20 April 2024. The deadline for applications is 6 January 2024. For any enquiries, please approach Fr Vincent after the Sunday Masses or contact him at email@example.com .
Westminster Cathedral presents ‘A Christmas Celebration’ – our ever-popular evenings of music and readings for Christmas.
Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th December 2023 – 7.30pm (doors open at 6.45pm)
Our annual concert includes some of the finest Advent and Christmas choral music from across the centuries performed by the world-famous Westminster Cathedral Choir and Orchestra, directed by the Cathedral’s Master of Music Simon Johnson, and festive readings by celebrity readers.
The event in aid of the work of the Cathedral is a highlight of the Christmas season and not to be missed. Tickets are on sale now – click here to book yours early to avoid missing out!
‘In short: the performance of the English choir under its new Music Director Simon Johnson was sensational.’ – Die Rheinpfalz – September 2022.
With approval of the Archbishop’s Council, Westminster Cathedral is aligning with all other Catholic cathedrals in England and Wales and is changing the title of the Administrator to the Dean of the Cathedral. The change is taking place with immediate effect.
We are thrilled that the choir’s landmark catalogue of recordings with Hyperion Records & Universal Music Group (currently numbering some 53 albums) will become available on all global streaming platforms over the next few months. As a taster, several award winners have been available since the end of July:
BYRD: The Three Masses
MacMILLAN: Tenebrae Responsories & other choral works
MARTIN/PIZZETTI: Mass & Messa di Requiem
SHEPPARD: Media vita & other sacred choral music
POULENC: Mass & Motets
VICTORIA: O quam gloriosum & Ave maris stella
The remaining 46 albums will be available at the end of November.
Hyperion have also made a Spotify playlist of the choir’s recordings, which is available here https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7E2nWQbgIJrUA5USIFfwEs
Young people (12-25) from the Diocese who were not able to go to the World Youth Day are invited to join the Westminster Youth Ministry on 2 September for a taste of Lisbon at their Summer Picnic. We will explore the theme for World Youth Day, ‘Mary arose and went with haste’, with workshops activities, testimonies and Mass with Bishop Paul McAleenan. Sign up at https://youth.rcdow.org.uk/events/world-youth-day-summer-picnic/. Please note, for Safeguarding reasons, any young person from 12-16 years old will need to be accompanied either by a parent or group leader. For 16-18 year-olds, additional sign up requirements are in place.
A huge thank you to everyone for your ongoing support to the project of improving and upgrading the lighting in the Cathedral. The lighting for the Sanctuary, the Lady Chapel and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is now nearing completion. The next stage is the Sacred Heart Chapel which is in urgent need of rewiring with its lighting in need of upgrading. The new lighting scheme will not only enhance the prayerful aspect of the Chapel but it will help us to reduce further the running cost and our carbon emissions. Thanks to your support and generosity, we have so far raised £7,862 of the £19,000 needed. To contribute to this project, please speak to one of the priests after Mass or contact the Cathedral Fundraising Manager, Marie-Louise Van Spyk (email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07596 855460).
Westminster Cathedral is very blessed to be the home of the world-class Cathedral Choir. The Choir relies entirely upon the Cathedral to cover its running costs and these are becoming increasingly challenging to meet. ‘The Westminster Cathedral Choral Foundation’ was established to support the Choir both now and for the future. You are warmly invited to consider becoming a Patron of The Choral Foundation by making a regular gift or pledging to leave a gift in your will. To find out more, please pick up one of the new brochures at the back of the Cathedral or contact the Cathedral Fundraising Manager, Marie-Louise Van Spyk. Email email@example.com or telephone 07596 855460.
Adults who regularly come to the Cathedral for Mass or live locally, and who are interested in becoming a Catholic, are welcome to join the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) group. The course will commence in early October. For enquiries and more information, please get in touch with Fr Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to him after the Sunday Masses.
There will be two Ordination Masses taking place in the Cathedral shortly. On Saturday 24 June, also at 10.30am, there will be the Ordination of Priests. Among them will be Deacon Francis Thomas (pictured left), well known to many in the Cathedral from his time here as Cathedral Intern several years ago. On Saturday 8 July at 2.30pm there will be the Ordination of Permanent Deacons. Let us continue praying for vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, remembering especially those preparing to be soon ordained deacons and priests for Westminster diocese:
Rev John Casey, Rev Marco Lazzaron, Rev Juan Sola Garcia, Rev Francis Thomas and Rev Patrick van der Vorst (Priests);
Phil Etuk, Jim McLean and Sam Mulira (Permanent Deacons)
At the end of May, Westminster Cathedral Choir made a pilgrimage to Buckfast Abbey in Devon to make their first record under Master of Music, Simon Johnson.
The new disc takes in a sequence of music for the Easter Vigil, a dramatic liturgy which flows from darkness to light on the evening of Holy Saturday. Featuring polyphonic works by Palestrina, Victoria and Monteverdi, the album also includes several pieces by contemporary musicians associated with the music of the Cathedral, including Matthew Martin, Andrew Reid and Martin Baker, several of which receive their premiere recordings. The sequence is punctuated by Gregorian chants for the season of Easter, and closes with the electrifying organ piece, Incantation pour un jour saint by Jean Langlais, which draws together a number of the plainsong themes heard on the disc.
Matthew Searles, Executive Producer, said: ‘It was a great privilege to host Westminster Cathedral Choir at Buckfast again, to make their second recording for Ad Fontes. This world-class and distinctive choir is the jewel in the crown of Catholic music-making, and they sound as superb as ever’.
The new album will be released on Buckfast’s in-house record label, Ad Fontes, in the Spring next year timed to coincide with the Easter Triduum, and will be available to purchase from the usual outlets, and stream via Apple Music and Spotify.