Thousands of people flocked to Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King to celebrate its Golden Jubilee from Friday 2 to Monday 5 June. The festivities began with the opening ceremony of a spectacular Flower Festival: 'Cathedral Life: A Floral Tribute' on Friday morning, 2 June. Over the next four days people travelled from across the country to see displays by more than 20 parish groups and flower clubs.
After a celebration of Evening Prayer on Saturday 3 June, more than 300 people enjoyed a celebration dinner held in the Lutyens Crypt of the Cathedral.
Sunday 4 June, the Feast of Pentecost, marked the Jubilee of the Cathedral which was opened at Pentecost 1967. Archbishop Malcom McMahon was the celebrant at a Solemn Mass at 11am at which Cardinal Vincent Nichols preached. Among the concelebrants were Archbishop Paul Gallagher, a Liverpool priest who serves as secretary for relations with states in the Secretariat of State at the Holy See; Bishop Thomas Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool; Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool Patrick Kelly; Bishop Emeritus of Hallam and former Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, John Rawsthorne; and Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, Vincent Malone.
As he introduced the Mass, Archbishop McMahon read a message from Pope Francis for the occasion.
In his homily Crosby-born Cardinal Nichols reflected on the history of the Cathedral and shared his personal memories. He concluded by saying, "In our thanksgiving and celebration in this Cathedral of Christ the King, we pray that God's Holy Spirit, which transforms base material into divine substance, may fill us and work in our lives, transforming our humble humanity into a noble instrument of God's purpose in our world. In this we will be faithful to our great mission, so well symbolised in this Cathedral, an icon of our endeavour and, more importantly, of our faith."
Liverpool's ecumenical tradition was reflected at the Cathedral at 3pm, when Merseyside's church leaders gathered for a Two Cathedrals Service with the theme of 'Thy Kingdom Come’'. In his homily Cardinal Nichols said, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven! This prayer has inspired so much Christian endeavour across the centuries and continues to do so. Surely, it has sustained the long and costly effort of the construction of these two great Cathedrals, built to the glory of God and as a sign and place of his realm and the peace it gives. At the Metropolitan Cathedral, we celebrate our 50th birthday. May this occasion and this prayer reinforce our commitment to each other and our deep desire to work side by side, in a profound unity of spirit."
Pictures from the weekend celebrations are available at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liverpoolcatholic/albums (3 albums)