On Saturday 28 March, those who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation this Easter gathered with their catechists and sponsors for a retreat day led by Archbishop Malcolm.
The day involved two talks by the Archbishop on the Our Father and opportunities for quiet prayer and reflection, either within a workshop experience or alone. There were opportunities to experience a guided meditation on the Washing of the Feet; to join reflections on the scriptures of Holy Week; to reflect together on the Koder poster of Jesus washing Peter’s feet; or to reflect through specially prepared ‘prayer stations’ on Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
In his talks, the Archbishop explained how in the early Church, the Creed and the Our Father held such a special place within the Christian community that they were only presented to members after a period of ‘purification and enlightenment’ to complete their time of preparation. The Second Vatican Council called for the restoration of these ancient rites:
'Now that the elect have completed the catechumenate the Church lovingly entrusts to them the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, the ancient texts that have always been regarded as expressing the heart of the Church’s faith and prayer.' [RCIA 147]
The day ended with a celebration of the Liturgy of Word during which the Archbishop handed over a copy of the Our Father to each of the unbaptised and prayed a special prayer of blessing over them. As the final hymn was sung everyone else came forward to receive their own personal copy from Archbishop Malcolm.
More pictures from the day can be seen here.