Year of the Word launched

Sunday December 1st 2019 will go down in history as a significant date for the Catholic Church in England and Wales.  Not only did the day serve as the start of a new Liturgical Year with the start of the Advent Season, it also signified the start of an initiative to connect more deeply with the Scriptures.

The Scriptures are at the centre of our Faith as Christians.  Our whole way of life takes root from what is contained within the word; our prayer and worship is formed by the word.  When we think of Christianity we automatically think of the Bible, as such Christianity is often referred to as a “religion of the book”. As Catholics we reject this notion as the ‘Word’ is far more than what is contained ion the pages of Sacred Scripture.

“Christianity is the religion of the ‘Word’ of God, a word which is ‘not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living”.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 108)

The ‘Word’ (of God) is “alive and active” (Heb 4:12).  The Word of God lives and speaks in our time.  For the ‘Word’ became flesh that first Christmas and lived among us (cf. Jn 1:14)) in the person of Jesus Christ.  As such, the theme given by the Catholic Bishops’ is:

This ‘Year of the Word’ marked its opening within the Diocese of Cardiff with a special celebration of Evening Prayer and Benediction at Cardiff Cathedral. Clergy and faithful from various parts of the Diocese gathered to sing God’s praises and reflect upon the word of God in the singing of the Psalms.  The singing was beautifully lead by a special choir formed of pupils from St. Alban’s High School, Pontypool.  The pupils also took part in the various ministries that enabled the celebration to be deeply prayerful, joyous occasion.

In the homily, Archbishop George Stack reflected upon the world of instant gratification as opposed patience and longing waiting with expectant hope.  The ‘Word’ who from the very beginnings of time has prompted and guided the material realm invites us to with the joyful hope for his return at the end of time, when all things will be complete in him.  It is through meditating upon the Word of God as contained in the Scriptures that we can find our true and lasting happiness and our help for this life.

A formal procession of the Scriptures started and by visiting the points of the compass, we were reminded that the Word became flesh for one purpose only – to draw all things to himself.  The celebration concluded with the exposition of Christ present to us in the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.

A huge debt of thanks must go to Mr. Stephen Long, Fr. David Hayman and the pupils of St. Alban’s High School for leading us so splendidly in our celebration.  You were truly outstanding and a credit to your school.

Throughout the following year a number of events will take place throughout the Diocese to celebrate and engage with “The God Who Speaks”.  You can keep abreast of what is taking place by visiting the Year of the Word section of this website.

The first major event will be a study period led by Fr. Laurence Bryce as he leads us through the DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON DIVINE REVELATION (Dei Verbum) and Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Verbum Domini”.  The session takes place on Saturday 7th December starting at 10:00am at the Cornerstone, Cardiff.