Friday, 9 November 2012

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Although most Christians know that Pope Benedict XVI is Bishop of Rome, many seem to think that St Peter's is his cathedral church - the home of his bishop's seat. This of course is not the case - it is the Lateran Basilica which is his cathedral church. Here we see him standing at his chair in the basilica.

Today is the Feast of Dedication of the Lateran Basilica - a suitable day to pray for Christian Unity.

Here we see the Holy Father attending Choral Evensong at Westminster Abbey. The processional hymn (which happens to be the Office Hymn for today's feast) is one of his favourites!

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord, and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion's help for ever,
and her confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
dearly loved of God on high,
in exultant jubilation
pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
in glad hymns eternally.

To this temple, where we call thee,
come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
with thy wonted loving-kindness
hear thy servants as they pray,
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee of gain;
what they gain from thee, for ever
with the bless├Ęd to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign.

Laud and honour to the Father,
laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run. Amen.

Of course we see the present Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr Rowan Williams) standing next to the Holy Father.

Our prayers are now asked for his successor, The Rt Rev Justin Welby, whose appointment to the See of Canterbury has been confirmed this morning. He is to be enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013.

Happy Feast!

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