Dedicated to The Most Precious Blood

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Those who regularly take in mass at Westminster Cathedral will have noticed two changes to the ordering of the building this weekend. The first and very visible change is that the shrine of St John Southworth, our local matyr who gave up his life in defence of his faith in 1654 had been moved into the nave, the central part of the Cathedral.  Following his execution, St John Southworth's remains were taken to Douai ( pronounced Doway ) in France by the then Spanish ambassador for burial and later secreted during the French Revolution as a protective measure. Discovered in 1927, they were transported back to England to be laid to rest in the Chapel of St George and the English Matyrs at the Cathedral. 

The shrine of St John Southworth was moved into the nave on June 27 on the occasion of the anniversary of our matyr saint so as to serve as a focus for prayer and as a reminder of the sacrifices made to sustain the faith during the period of the persecution. 

The other change to the Cathedral relates to the exhibition of the twelve consecration sconces. While there are twelve of these they are not as centrally located but are placed instead around the wall of the Cathedral. This is designed to mirror the walls of Jerusalem on the foundations of which were inscribed the names of the twelve apostles. Each sconce is  shaped like a hand with each hand holding a candle. 

The reason for these changes is because this weekend marks the 102nd anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral. The Solemnity of the Dedication of Westminster Cathedral is of particular significance to all Catholics since this is the day that we are reminded of the purpose of the existence of the Cathedral. It is in addition a day when we give thanks to those who played a part in the history of the Cathedral, those who have indeed contributed to building the spiritual fabric and character of the Cathedral that sees it today as a beacon of Catholics in the country and which establishes it as a spiritual home for many of us as we practice and grow our faith.

Westminster Cathedral in company with some of the great Cathedrals in Europe and around the world enjoys a specific dedication. This dedication is to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ our Redeemer by whose Blood we are saved. It is right then that this dedication is made each year as we recall, reflect and give thanks for this very special gift of love.

Regular readers of my blog will be aware that I write about Westmister Cathedral with some regularity. This is my 32nd year as a convert in which time I have largely attended mass and served at two churches, the first being St James' Spanish Place where I was received into the faith and the other being St Elizabeth's in Richmond. All who believe will know that faith is a personal experience and while I had attended mass at the Cathedral before and whilst  holding it as a very special place to come to, it was not until this past year that I have come to realise that here indeed is my spiritual home. I have never been as at home with my faith as I am today and I believe I owe this to the very special spiritual wonder that exists in and which is  the  Cathedral itself. I really am very humbled at the joy of being here. Thank you for taking time to read my blog and allowing me to share my faith and this special occasion with you.