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Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi

On the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Most Rev George Stack, archbishop of Cardiff, celebrates Mass live from the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David.

On the Feast of Corpus Christi, which commemorates the Holy Eucharist, the Most Rev. George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff, celebrates Mass live from the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. David. The service, led by the Dean, Canon Peter Collins, includes the hymns Alleluia, Sing to Jesus (Hyfrydol); O Godhead Hid (R.R. Terry); How Shall I Sing That Majesty (Coe Fen) and the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from a Mass setting by Dr. David Neville. The Master of Choristers is Dominic Neville. Organist Jeffrey Howard. Producer Karen Walker.

38 minutes

Script:

OPENING ANNO from R4
BBC Radio 4.    And now we go live to the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. David in Cardiff where the Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Rev’d George Stack reflects on the Feast of Corpus Christi.  The celebration of Mass, which is led by the Dean, Canon Peter Collins, begins with the hymn, The Lord’s My Shepherd.

ITEM 1 HYMN 1 CHOIR / ORGAN  
THE LORD’S MY SHEPHERD.  Tune: Crimmond

ITEM 2 WELCOME CANON COLLINS / CONG RESPONSE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.

The tragic events of last Wednesday which brought devastation to the Grenfell Tower in North Kensington are ingrained upon our minds and hearts this morning.   The hearts of the people of the capital city of Wales go out to all those in London where So many people in the local community and from across the country are striving to render assistance to the survivors. As we entrust those who have died to the embrace of the Good Shepherd our prayers also reach out to all the injured and suffering, to those who are now gripped by shock in the midst of their grief and the trauma of having lost so much. From the depths of our need and vulnerability we turn to the source of all abiding strength.

Today the church focusses on the Feast of Corpus Christi, when we rejoice to acknowledge the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.   From the Table of the Last Supper the Lord Jesus invites us to partake in the Paschal Mystery of the Cross and Resurrection and through the Sacrifice of the Mass we receive the greatest gift from the hands of Christ himself, for he is both Priest and Victim.

As we prepare to celebrate the sacred mysteries of our faith in Word and Sacrament, our first duty is to acknowledge our sins and to seek forgiveness.

ITEM 3 CANON COLLINS / CONG 

I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
[All strike their breast thrice]
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.


ITEM 4 KYRIE  / CHOIR  
Composed by David Neville.
   
ITEM 5 CANON PETER   
May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to eternal life.
Amen

ITEM 6 GLORIA CHOIR / ORGAN
Gloria composed by David Neville

ITEM 7 FIRST READING 
The first reading is taken from Deuteronomy Chapter 8 beginning at Verse 2 
[:2-3,14-16]

Moses said to the people: ‘Remember how the Lord your God led you for forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart – whether you would keep his commandments or not. He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your fathers had known, to make you understand that man does not live on bread alone but that man lives on everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

‘Do not become proud of heart. Do not forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery: who guided you through this vast and dreadful wilderness, a land of fiery serpents, scorpions, thirst; who in this waterless place brought you water from the hardest rock; who in this wilderness fed you with manna that your fathers had not known.’

The word of the Lord.  
All reply: Thanks be to God.

ITEM 8 PSALM CHOIR ONLY
melody Pange Lingua, Arr by Dominic Neville 
O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!

ITEM 9 SECOND READING
A reading from 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf.

The word of the Lord.  
All reply: Thanks be to God.

ITEM 10 ALLELUIA & GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Short Alleluia and Gospel Acclamation
composed by Dominic Neville

ITEM 11 GOSPEL READING  
John 6:51-58

The Lord be with you
All:  And with your spirit.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said:
‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’

Then they started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live forever.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

ALL:   Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

ITEM 12 HOMILY ARCHBISHOP GEORGE STACK  
The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London which began in the early hours of Wednesday morning has devastated the lives of untold numbers of people. The agony of so many trapped in their flats is impossible to imagine. The injuries suffered by those who are still in hospital will need the dedicated and skilled care of doctors and nurses for many months, if not years, to come and the emotional wounds of those who managed to escape, or have to come to terms with the death of their loved ones, will be a lifelong pain to bear.   The public enquiry will eventually seek to answer the question “How could this happen”. “Who or what is to blame for such a tragedy”. But there will be deeper questions in the minds and hearts and on the lips of all who try to make sense of suffering on such a huge scale. “Why does God allow this to happen?”

There is no answer to that inevitable question, especially in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy. For the followers of Jesus Christ, the only ray of hope we have is that he himself knew the depths of innocent suffering and was plunged into the horrors of an agonising death.   In his anguish and pain he cried out on the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”   How desperate the cries of those who tried to escape the fire must have been. How traumatised are witnesses who saw people throwing themselves and even children from windows in an attempt to escape the enveloping inferno.

Today the Church keeps the feast of Corpus Christi - the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.  It commemorates the gift that Jesus made of himself at the Last Supper, the night before he died.  When he took bread and wine and blessed it and broke it and gave it to his apostles he said, “My Body given for you.  My blood poured out for you”.  In a symbolic and sacramental way he gave his disciples a sign and a promise and a hope that through his death he would bring them to new life and nourish that life in the Eucharist.  His words echo down the centuries to this present, painful day. “Do this in memory in memory of me”.

One of the ancient descriptions of the Eucharist or Mass still used today is “The Breaking of Bread”.   In the paradox of the suffering and death of Jesus is the promise and the hope of new life, a risen life with Christ.   The breaking of the host – as Catholics call the bread - at Mass  is a symbol of the brokenness which lies at the heart of a disaster like this week’s fire, a reminder to us all of the fragility of life itself  and the vulnerability of every human endeavour.  It is in and through this bread which is broken for us that we are drawn into communion with the risen Body of Christ, and bound in communion with one another, especially in the face of tragedy.

Who could fail to be moved by the acts of heroism of those who rescued people from that blazing inferno? Is it too much to say the compassion of the people of London and all over the country in providing food and shelter, care and comfort is itself a sign of communion in the multi-cultural city that is London?  Compassion is a universal quality of all humanity, it is a word that means “suffering with” and that is certainly how we feel when we try to comprehend the enormity of the tragedy which has struck so many lives.  We instinctively reach out in sympathy and offer help to those who have suffered so much, to those who have lost their homes, or who have been bereaved, or are still living with the terrible presumed knowledge of what has most likely happened to relatives and friends who are missing.

All over the world today, on this feast of Corpus Christi, children will be receiving Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.  It’s always a day of great happiness and joy for parents, children and parishes alike and indeed we’ll be celebrating with 20 children in this Cathedral later today. 

But I’m also reminded of another description of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist - “Viaticum”.    It means “Food for the Journey” and is given to the dying in the Last Sacraments.  Today we pray that those who have died may experience the vision of God for which they were created, and in their suffering will be united with the crucified Saviour who suffered death that all might live in his presence eternally.

ITEM 13 BIDDING PRAYERS                                                                                              
CANON COLLINS:   
The blessing cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. Nourished by Word and Sacrament we offer now our prayers of intercession.

Reader 1.
With the images of the inferno at the Grenfell Tower in North Kensington imprinted on our minds, we pray for the eternal repose of all who have died, for the comforting of those who mourn the loss of loved ones and for the healing and recovery of the many who were critically injured. We also pray for the emergency services in the aftermath of the tragedy as they attend to the needs of a traumatised community.
Lord, hear us.
ALL: Lord, graciously hear us.

READER 2
We pray for our country as it faces the challenges of political and social transitions.
Conscious of our duty to seek and to serve the common good may we navigate the complexities which we currently face by fostering a spirit of patient discernment and genuine dialogue.
Lord, hear us.
ALL: Lord, graciously hear us.

Reader 3.
We pray for the Church.
In allegiance to Christ may we remain faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Lord, hear us.
ALL: Lord, graciously hear us.

Reader 4. 
We pray for the Global community, North, South, East and West.
All peoples are invited to the banquet of life. By confronting every form of injustice may we ensure that none are excluded from the feast.
Lord, hear us.
ALL: Lord, graciously hear us.

CANON COLLINS:
Heavenly Father, we entrust these and all our prayers to your great providence in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

ITEM 14 CHOIR / ORGAN 
Byrd Ave Verum

ITEM 15 LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST    CANON PETER       
[Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation
 for through your goodness we have received
 the wine we offer you:
fruit of the vine and work of human hands,
it will become our spiritual drink.

Response: Blessed be God forever

Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters),
that my sacrifice and yours
may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.

ALL: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands
for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good
and the good of all his holy Church.

ITEM 16 PREFACE CANON COLLINS   
The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
Lift up your hearts
We lift them up to the Lord
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right and just


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

For at the Last Supper with his Apostles,
establishing for the ages to come the saving memorial of the Cross, he offered himself to you as the unblemished Lamb,
the acceptable gift of perfect praise.

Nourishing your faithful by this sacred mystery,
you make them holy, so that the human race,
bounded by one world,

may be enlightened by one faith
and united by one bond of charity.

And so, we approach the table of this wondrous Sacrament,
so that, bathed in the sweetness of your grace,
we may pass over to the heavenly realities here foreshadowed.

Therefore, all creatures of heaven and earth
sing a new song in adoration,
and we, with all the host of Angels,
cry out, and without end we acclaim:

ITEM 17 SANCTUS CHOIR ONLY 
Sanctus

ITEM 18 THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER CANON COLLINS
You are indeed Holy, O Lord,
the fount of all holiness
make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray
by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall,
so that they may become for us
the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the time he was betrayed
and entered willingly into his Passion,
he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, saying:

TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY,
WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU

In a similar way, when supper was ended,
he took the chalice
and, once more giving thanks,
he gave it to his disciples, saying:

TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT,
FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT,
WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY
FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME

SUNG BY SOLO VOICE IN CHOIR:  The mystery of faith.
We proclaim your Death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again.

Therefore, as we celebrate
the memorial of his Death and Resurrection,
we offer you, Lord,
the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation,
giving thanks that you have held us worthy
to be in your presence and minister to you.

Humbly we pray
that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ,
we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.

Remember, Lord, your church,
spread throughout the world,
and bring to the fullness of charity,
together with Francis our Pope and George our Bishop
and all the clergy.

Remember also our brothers and sisters
who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection,
and all who have died in your mercy:
welcome them into the light of your face.
Have mercy on us all, we pray,
that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
with blessed Joseph, her spouse,
with the blessed Apostles,
and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages,
we may merit to be coheirs to eternal life,
and may praise and glorify you
through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours
for ever and ever.
Amen

ITEM 19 LORD’S PRAYER 
At the Saviour’s command
and formed by divine teaching,
we dare to say:

Our Father
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
they will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. 

Deliver us, Lord, we pray from evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.   

ALL:  
"For thine is the power and the glory, now and forever.  Amen."

ITEM 20 THE PEACE CANON PETER
Lord Jesus Christ,
who said to your Apostles:
Peace I leave you, my peace I give you;
look not on our sins,
but on the faith of your Church,
and graciously grant her peace and unity
in accordance with your will.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.
Amen.

P.   The Peace of the Lord be with you always
R.   And with your Spirit       24

ITEM 21 AGNUS DEI CHOIR     
Agnus Dei

ITEM 22 INVITATION TO COMMUNION CANON PETER  
Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter my roof,
but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed        

ITEM 23 COMMUNION HYMN CHOIR/ORGAN 
Music by R. R. Terry
O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore Thee,

ITEM 24 FINAL PRAYER   CANON PETER   
Grant, O Lord, we pray,
That we may delight for all eternity
In that share in your divine life,
Which is foreshadowed in the present age
By our reception of your Body and Blood.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.

ITEM 25 LINK CANON PETER   
The Holy Eucharist is indeed food for the journey of life and food for that final journey that will bring us to eternity. Nourished by the abiding presence of Jesus Christ we can embrace afresh the demands of the Gospel and profess our praise of the Majesty of God as we sing our final hymn.

ITEM 26 FINAL HYMN CHOIR /ORGAN           
Melody Coe Fen by Kenneth Naylor, descant by Dominic Neville
How shall I sing that Majesty

ITEM 27 BLESSING ARCHBISHOP STACK
1. May God, the source and origin of all blessing,
Grant you grace,
Pour out his blessing in abundance
And always keep you in the palm of his hand.
Amen.

2. May he give you integrity in faith,
Endurance in hope
And perseverance in charity
With holy patience to the end.
Amen.

3. May he order your days in his peace,
Grant your prayers in this and every place,
And lead you happily to eternal life.
Amen.

4. And may the blessing of Almighty God,
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Come down on you and remain with you for ever.
Amen.

5. Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your life.
All: Thanks be to God.

ITEM 28     ORGAN VOLUNTARY      JEFFREY HOWARD

CLOSING ANNO FROM R4
Sunday Worship came live from the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. David in Cardiff.    The Celebration of Mass was led by the Dean, Canon Peter Collins and the preacher was the Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Rev’d George Stack.  The Master of the Choristers was James Neville.   The Director of Music was Dominic Neville and the organist Jeffrey Howard. The producer was Karen Walker.

In next week’s Sunday Worship Brother Alois of the Taizé Community preaches at a young people's gathering in Birmingham.

[BBC Radio 2 is currently seeking the Young Choristers of the Year 2017. Further details are on the Sunday Worship web page].

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