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.

THE CHORAL FOUNDATION

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 this is becoming increasingly challenging to do.  We have therefore launched ‘The Westminster Cathedral Choral Foundation’ 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.  As a Patron you will enjoy special benefits and be part of this new chapter in the Choir’s history.  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 protected] or telephone 07596 855 460.

Flyers are now available by the main doors of the Cathedral giving full information about services and times for Holy Week, the Triduum and Easter Octave. These are also marked in the Cathedral Diary here on the website. Note that extended hours for pre-Easter weekday Confessions (11am – 1pm and 4 – 6pm) began on Monday 27 March.

The times of the principal liturgies are as follows:

The Archbishop of Westminster is the celebrant at services marked with *.

Services in bold will be also available via the live-stream from the Cathedral website.

Sunday 2 April PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD

11.30am Cathedral Hall – Blessing of Palms, Procession and Solemn Pontifical Mass*

4.30pm Cathedral Hall – Mass for the Deaf community

Monday 3 April MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK

Tuesday 4 April TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK

12.00pm Chrism Mass*

Wednesday 5 April WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK

Thursday 6 April MAUNDY THURSDAY

6.00pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper*

11.45pm Compline

Friday 7 April GOOD FRIDAY Fast and abstinence

3.00pm The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord*

6.30pm Stations of the Cross

Saturday 8 April HOLY SATURDAY

8.30pm The Easter Vigil*

Sunday 9 April EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION

12 noon Solemn Pontifical Mass *

4pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction

No 7pm Mass

It is with great sadness that news was received of the death of Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus since his resignation of the papal office. On Tuesday 24 January, within the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, Cardinal Nichols will preside at a celebration of Ecumenical Vespers at 5pm in the Cathedral in memory of the late Pope Emeritus. All are welcome to attend.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace. Amen.

Over-60s are very welcome to attend this party on Thursday 8 December from 2-4 pm in Cathedral Hall. To attend, please complete and return the application form available from Clergy House Reception or the Information Desk in the Cathedral by Friday 2 December. This will help us to work out how many people to expect and to cater for any specific dietary requirements that you may have.

Talk by Alison Weir, Author – 7 pm on Tuesday 22nd November

Venue: Westminster Cathedral Hall (entrance on Ambrosden Avenue)

We are delighted to welcome back Alison Weir for a talk entitled Katherine Parr: The Sixth Wife. Alison is the author of a series of books about the wives of Henry VIII as well as other historical royal women and families. Katherine Parr was, of course, Henry’s sixth wife who survived him. Those members who have heard Alison’s talks about Henry’s other wives, will be eager not to miss her.

Tickets are priced at £10 and are available in advance or on the door. Tickets can be purchased by emailing [email protected].

Quiz and Fish & Chip Supper – 7 pm on Wednesday 23rd November

Venue: Westminster Cathedral Hall (entrance on Ambrosden Avenue)

Hot on the heels of our October event, we will be holding another of our popular Cathedral Quizzes. Our Cathedral Precentor, Fr Mike Maguire, will lead our quizzing.

For this event, we need to know in advance if you are coming as we need to order the fish and chip suppers in advance. Tickets are £18 and advance booking is essential. Tickets can be purchased by emailing [email protected].

Calling all book lovers…

The next SVP Book Sale will take place in Cathedral Hall on Sunday 27 November from 10.30 am – 2.30 pm. As always, we are pleased to accept donations of new and fairly new paperbacks – but no hardback fiction please – and of CDs and DVDs. Religious books will be particularly welcome, as will classical music CDs. These can be left at Clergy House in the week before the sale. This date marks the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and the Daughters of Charity from St Vincent’s convent will be at the book sale to distribute medals.

To find out more about our Parish SVP group click here

Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 December 2022 – 7.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm)

There are still some tickets available 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 much-loved celebrity readers, on 20 and 21 December at 7.30pm.  We encourage everybody to purchase tickets quickly before this popular event is sold out.  To buy tickets go to:www.ticketmaster.co.uk; and type in Westminster Cathedral when prompted.

‘In short: the performance of the English choir under its new Music Director Simon Johnson was sensational.’ – Die Rheinpfalz – September 2022.

During this time of increased conflict in the world, we invite everyone to join us in prayer for peace, especially for the end of war in Ukraine and for an end to the persecution of Christians in Nigeria. We place all our intentions under the mantle of Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Peace.


MEMORÁRE
PRAYER FOR PEACE

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

The Campanile has reopened to the public. Take the lift up to the Viewing Gallery with its breathtaking views of London north, south, east, and west.

A bird’s-eye view of London

The Cathedral’s bell tower, or campanile, can be seen from across the city. Standing 284ft high, it is a reminder of faith at the heart of London. If you visit Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard, look up and you will see the campanile of Westminster Cathedral. Carved stone eagles encircle the apex.

Opening hours are currently restricted to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11 am and 3.30 pm and tickets may be purchased in the Cathedral shop.

PRICES:

Adults £6

Family Ticket (2 adults with up to 4 children): £12

Concessions* £3 (* aged 60+ years)

Now that the refurbishment of the kitchen in the Cathedral Hall is complete, tea and coffee (and possibly cake and biscuits) after the 10 am Sunday Mass will resume from this Sunday, 2 October.

It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know fellow parishioners and to be refreshed; everyone is welcome.

On 21 April 1947, on her twenty-first birthday, Princess Elizabeth said, ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.’

Now, seventy-five years later, we are heartbroken in our loss at her death, and so full of admiration for the unfailing way in which she fulfilled that declaration.

Even in my sorrow, shared with so many around the world, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

At this time, we pray for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty. We do so with confidence, because the Christian faith marked every day of her life and activity.

In her Millennium Christmas message, she said, ‘To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’

This faith, so often and so eloquently proclaimed in her public messages, has been an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many. The wisdom, stability and service which she consistently embodied, often in circumstances of extreme difficulty, are a shining legacy and testament to her faith.

Our prayer is that she is now received into the merciful presence of God, there to be reunited with her beloved Prince Philip. This is the promise of our faith, and our deep consolation.

Queen Elizabeth II will remain, always, a shining light in our history. May she now rest in peace.

We pray for His Majesty the King, as he assumes his new office even as he mourns his mother.

God save the King.