Video: St Patrick’s Cathedral fills for the annual Lourdes Mass
Article by melbournecatholic.org.au
Sunday 4 December 2016
Media and Communications Office.
The full solemn Mass was accompanied by cantor Paul Hughes and Dr Paul Taylor playing the St Patrick’s organ.
Prior to Mass, visiting musician Melina van Leeuwen played harp, while members of the Order of Malta and young people from many of Melbourne’s major Catholic schools assisted in seating and welcoming the large congregation.
In his welcome, Archbishop Hart said, ‘I am delighted to be with each of you as we celebrate this Mass for the sick, accompanied by the blessing with Lourdes water.
‘Today in Advent we ask that the God of power and mercy may open our hearts in welcome, so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him.
‘Those of you who suffer are certainly one with his passion and witness to him. Our prayers are for you, as for everyone here. We ask that the Lord may give us hope that we can share with our world.’
During Mass, Archbishop Hart spoke of the joy in our hearts, united as we are with those who are sick, as we prepare to welcome Jesus at Christmas.
‘The pilgrimage is entitled, Lourdes Day, because of the blessing with holy water from Lourdes, which will occur at the end of Mass. Pope John Paul, himself ailing and a pilgrim, went to Lourdes some years ago and his words are great comfort to us as we celebrate this Mass.
‘We ask Mary, who carried the Saviour in her womb with love beyond all telling, to help us to ponder God’s love in our lives; through the Cross, through the hope it gives and through the call to resurrection. Truly with the Pope we can say, ‘We wish to learn from the lowly handmaid of the Lord an attitude of docility and openness to the Word of God and a generous commitment to welcome Christ’s teaching into our lives.’
‘From the time when Bernadette first received the Holy Mother in the grotto at Massabielle she began a dialogue between heaven and earth, which lasted through time and continues to this day – a procession, which asks that the Blessed Mother journey at our side along the pilgrim way of faith, hope and love.
‘In this Year of the Eucharist we remember that at Lourdes for more than a century Christian people have faithfully walked each day behind Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and each night amid songs and prayers in honour of the Lord’s Mother.
Thanks to the members of the Order of Malta, two thousand packs had been especially prepared for the day, containing holy water from Lourdes, rosary beads and more. These were presented to all attendees at the Mass.