Archbishop Leads Celebration for the Sick
On Saturday 13th February, Archbishop George Stack celebrated the Annual Mass for the Sick with Anointing at St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff. The Annual World Day of Prayer for the Sick occurs on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (11th February), and the Diocese celebrates its Mass for the Sick on the nearest Saturday. This year it happened to co-incide with the Wales vs Scotland Six Nations Match at the Principality Stadium, which brought a little competition for travelling to the Mass.
Despite the competition, a gathering of people arrived at St David’s Cathedral to pray to Our Lady of Lourdes and receive the Anointing from the Archbishop. During the celebration Archbishop George made reference to Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, reflecting how Mary, ‘the thoughtful woman’, intercedes for humanity and her Son, Jesus, can never refuse her prayer. Even in times of sickness, both minor and grave, Mary acts as intermediary and is a real source of support for the sick. The Archbishop also made reference to Pope St. John Paul II, who established the Annual World Day of Prayer for the Sick, and how in his infirmity towards the end of his life, he was a beacon of courage for all who watched him.
Following the Homily, Archbishop George proceeded to lead a prayer of thanksgiving over the Oil of the Sick. This Oil is consecrated at the Mass of Chrism each year by the Archbishop and his priests. It is used by the priests when they visit the sick at home and in hospitals celebrating the Sacrament of the Sick, which happens to be one of three parts that make up the old ‘Last Rites’. The Sacrament of the Sick is a Sacrament of Healing and strength and can be received by anyone who has a sickness. It can also be repeated many time in the life of a person.
Following the Anointing, the Mass continued as usual. After the Post Communion Prayer, the congregation carrying lighted candles were invited to process to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on display within the cathedral. There, Archbishop George led the people in the Fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary (the Coronation of Our Lady in heaven). An appropriate choice of mystery as in Lourdes the Crowned Virgin stands erect in front of the Rosary Basilica. Following the Rosary, everyone sang the Ave’s with candles held aloft and the Mass concluded.
Keep an eye on our events calendar for details of next years celebration.