This evening and throughout tomorrow Catholic parishes across England and Wales will offer at least one Mass, their principle service of weekly worship, for Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee. Special texts and prayers have been written and sent to nearly to three thousand parishes. The Catholic bishops have also commended that the National Anthem be sung at the end of Mass in honour of The Queen, a far cry from the 301-year old Act of Settlement which bars Catholics from succession to the throne. CTE Presidents' Consultation & Personal Covenant. Tomorrow morning Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, will attend a service in St George's Chapel, Windsor at the invitation of Her Majesty The Queen, which is to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 at 10.45am. Following the service, the Cardinal, along with the other three presidents of CTE (the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey; the Revd Tony Burnham, Moderator of the Free Churches Group and the Revd Esme Beswick, representing the smaller churches) will sign an historic personal covenant, a copy and briefing of which are attached. The signing will take place in the Vicars Hall in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The covenant sets out the four presidents common understanding of the Christian faith and expresses their appreciation of the progress made in relation to unity between churches. They will commit themselves to continue the positive developments in their relationships. These include praying, working and consulting together, and joining together to work for justice. Cathedral celebration led by Cardinal Tomorrow (Sunday 2 June) at 5.30pm, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will celebrate Mass for The Queen in Westminster Cathedral. In his sermon the Cardinal will speak of what Catholics, as "citizens of this country, are doing during these days. We are, he will say, "performing an act of homage". We do so not because the Queen wants it" but "because we, citizens of this nation and beyond, want it. There is something in our nature that we are able to do homage to a human being who, through birth, by upbringing and long lineage, is given to reign over us." He refers to this "perhaps as the same kind of faculty which we use to worship God" and is quick to state that "if the sense of God is not lost then the reverence for royalty does not conflict with our reverence and our worship for God" believing that "the two actually complement one another". The Cardinal compares the monarchy, "in the person of the Queen" as "a house built on rock" referring to a verse (24) from the Gospel reading of the day (Matthew 7:21-27). He speaks of her as "an unbroken connection with the Britain of the pre and early post-war period" and recognises that "we continue to need things in our lives and in the life of our nation which endure, which are not constantly changing" with "stability and endurance" being "the characteristic of the monarchy which most of us so rightly treasure". National Service at St Paul's Cathedral On Tuesday (4 June) Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will represent the Catholics of England and Wales at the national service to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen which will be televised live on BBC1. Along with the Reverend Christina Le Moignan, President of the Methodist Conference, the Cardinal will lead a Litany of Thanksgiving for the lives, witness and work of The Queen and Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh. A copy of the Cardinal's sermon will be made available at: www.westminsterdiocese.org.uk/arch/ at 5.30pm (BST) tomorrow afternoon. source: Archbishop's House
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