The Dean of St John the Baptist Cathedral in Norwich, Canon David Paul, warmly welcomed the return in the first public Mass held at the cathedral for nearly three months, on Saturday morning (July 4).
“We have been fasting from the Eucharist and have not been fed with the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. There has been a real sorrow that we have not been able to share in the Mass with our brothers and sisters in the faith,” said Canon Paul in his homily.
“But we have now come back as God’s family to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacraments. We have a new opportunity for a better relationship – Jesus talks about the new wine and the new wineskins. Everyone of us can have a new vision of what it means to be in Christ. We are new, restored and made whole. Let us all see this as an opportunity to renew our faith and grow in love for the Lord with one another. We have been prepared over the last few months for this new beginning.”
Canon Paul was speaking to a congregation of around 60 people, socially distanced across the vast cathedral, and across the Diocese of East Anglia all but a handful of churches in the 50 parishes were due to resume public Masses this weekend.
Speaking a few days earlier to Radio Maria England, based in Cambridge, Canon Paul said: “This has been an awful time for many people in our country – when we think of all of the people who have died and their families. But we also remember the heroic work in the hospitals which we thank God for.
“But this is still serious and we need to take great care, but let’s always put our trust in God and the Lord will always look after His Church and care for us.
“These signs of opening up and being able to celebrate Mass are wonderful gifts to us, so I would urge people to thank God for us and to look forward to that time when we can be back together again properly,” said Canon Paul.
Mass will be celebrated at St John’s Cathedral at the following times:
Sunday: 9am, 11am and 5.30pm, with a Latin Mass at 3pm on the first Sunday of the month
Saturday: 10am, 4pm (Polish) and 6pm
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 7.30am and 10am
Tuesday and Thursday: 10am and 7pm
To listen to the full recording of the interview with Canon David Paul please click this link:
Cardinal Vincent Nichols welcomed the return to collective worship in a video produced for the occasion. You can watch it on: https://youtu.be/CLsyL5yggVI
Guidance on the re-opening of churches can be found on the Bishops’ Conference website at: