John Bruton comes to Cathedral for Holy Thursday
The former Taoiseach has accepted an invitation to speak at the Holy Thursday Mass in the Cathedral at 7.30pm. It is likely that Mr John Bruton will reflect on the role that lay members of the Church are called to play in "building communion" at every level of life, based on the practice of Christian faith. The invitation was issued to Mr Bruton because he will be one of the key note speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next June.
Indeed all the Holy Week ceremonies at Mullingar Cathedral will reflect on this theme which is at the heart of the International Eucharistic Congress.
The annual Chrism Mass on Wednesday evening at 7.30pm, celebrated by Bishop Smith with most of the priests from the Diocese of Meath, will involve many volunteers from Meath and Westmeath who will be taking an active part at the Congress. The Diocese of Meath has registered the largest number of volunteers outside of Dublin. During the Chrism Mass, the clergy will renew their priestly vows and Bishop Smith will bless the Holy Oils for the sacraments in all parishes. Bishop Smith will explain that the ministry of the priests and the celebration of the sacraments are primarily to "deepen communion with God and one another".
The Good Friday ceremonies at the Cathedral will also reflect on this theme. Explaining the importance of observing Good Friday, Fr Padraig McMahon, Cathedral Administrator said that "Good Friday invites the community of faith to pause for reflection. The symbol of the Cross tells us that God wishes to draw us into a closer relationship with Him and with our neighbour. As Jesus gives His life for us on the Cross, so too we are called to give our lives at the service of God and each other. There has been a tendency for Good Friday to be seen as the beginning of the Easter bank holiday weekend. But this misses an important moment in our spiritual lives, and an opportunity to see how we are really called to live as a Christian community."
The full list of Holy Week ceremonies in Mullingar is as follows:
7.30pm Penitential Service
7.30pm Chrism Mass in the Cathedral
7.30pm Mass of the Lord's Supper in the Cathedral with guest speaker Mr John Bruton
12 noon: Outdoor Way of the Cross along the canal bank starting from St Paul's Church and leading to the Cathedral
12 noon: Stations of the Cross - Brotenstown
3.00pm: Good Friday Passion & Veneration of the Cross in the Cathedral, St Paul's, Walshestown and Gainstown
7.30pm: Taize Prayer around the Cross in the Cathedral
9.00pm Easter Vigil celebrates the Lord's resurrection and the gift of new life in baptism
The picture (above) shows Mr John Bruton on the occasion of his investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order and Royal Order of Francis I at Westminster Cathedral in London, in November 2011. The internationally recognised Orders of Knighthood are devoted to the promotion of the Catholic faith and undertake charitable, hospitaller and inter-faith activities. The cardinal pictured is Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino.