Christ is the spouse of the Church: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.
|The Dedication of Leeds Cathedral|
The story of St Anne’s Cathedral begins in 1786 when a Dominican priest moved the long established Roundhay Mission to premises in the centre of Leeds. In the autumn of that year some rooms were obtained in a building off Briggate to house the mission, and so the town’s first Catholic place of worship since the Reformation came into existence.
This chapel, an upper room adjacent to the Pack Horse Hotel, served the small Catholic community in Leeds for several years, until a purpose-built chapel, St Mary’s, opened in Lady Lane in October 1794. By 1833 the Dominicans had handed over the responsibility for the Leeds Mission to the Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District, Bishop Thomas Penswick, who appointed Fr Henry Walmsley to St Mary’s. At this time the Catholic population of Leeds was growing rapidly as a result of the town’s economic development and the influx of settlers from Ireland.
In 1836 a site for a new church in the town centre to replace St Mary’s was found. This church, designed by a local architect, John Child, opened on 24th October 1838. It was dedicated to St Anne in honour of Anne Humble, the late sister of Grace and Sarah Humble the principal benefactors of the new church, which stood at the junction of Guildford Street (the present Headrow) and Cookridge Street.
St Anne’s was raised to Cathedral status on 20th December 1878 upon the creation of the Diocese of Leeds. Twenty years later Leeds Corporation announced plans for the development of this part of Leeds, which involved the demolition of the Cathedral. Having considered various possible sites it was decided to accept the Corporation’s offer of land just yards from the existing church, at the junction of Cookridge Street and Great George Street.
Construction of the present Cathedral began in the autumn of 1901 and was completed in the early part of 1904. The architect was John Henry Eastwood (1843-1913) from London, who had been born near Leeds. He in turn engaged the services of a talented assistant, Sydney Kyffin Greenslade (1866-1955). Together they produced an outstanding design in the Arts and Crafts neo-Gothic style with an unusual layout to accommodate the Cathedral’s relatively small city centre site. It was consecrated by Bishop Cowgill on 18th July, 1924.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)|
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ©|
Do you not realise that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God is living among you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.
|Noon reading (Sext)||2 Corinthians 6:16 ©|
The temple of God has no common ground with idols, and that is what we are – the temple of the living God. We have God’s word for it: I will make my home among them and live with them; I will be their God and they shall be my people.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Haggai 2:6,7,9 ©|
The Lord of Hosts says this: I will shake all the nations and the treasures of all the nations shall flow in, and I will fill this Temple with glory, says the Lord of Hosts. The new glory of this Temple is going to surpass the old, and in this place I will give peace – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.