‘No matter where you are from or what language you speak, this is your Cathedral because we are one body in Christ’, Cardinal Vincent told over a thousand worshippers from other countries who packed Westminster Cathedral for the International Mass celebrated with the Ethnic Chaplaincies of the diocese on Sunday 28 September.
The Mass once again celebrated the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of our diocese with worshippers from across the world’s continents, from areas where the church is established in Western Europe, areas where the faith was brought with western colonisation to the growth areas of the Church in Eastern Europe and the Far East. The entrance procession was led by the banners and flags of all of the ethnic chaplaincies of the diocese and many of the carriers wore clothes native to their home country and culture.
The readings and bidding prayers were read out in different languages by readers which reflected the make-up of the congregation, with languages including Ukrainian, Chinese, Singhalese and a Nigerian dialect.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent reflected on how best the assembled congregation could work in the vineyard of the Lord, reflecting on the Gospel reading from the Mass (Matthew 21:28-32). He asked them: ‘Do we day-by-day have in our mind and our heart the desire to see the world as the vineyard of the Lord and work in it? Do we see the labours of our colleagues as the fruit of the Lord?’
Recalling how in the Gospel one of the sons had refused to work in the vineyard but then thought better of it and did, the Cardinal spoke of this conversion experience as one of mercy. ‘Mercy is like the air we breathe; when we don’t breathe it, we can get weary, fed up and lose our hearts….but tonight we come to breathe in the love of the Lord’s mercy when we hear him say “go and work in my vineyard”’.
For more photos of the Mass, please click HERE.