Source: Archdiocese of Liverpool
Liverpool's two Cathedrals are set to welcome the relics of St Bernadette of Lourdes as part of a nationwide tour which will offer people a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit for prayer and reflection. On Saturday 17 September the relics will arrive at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral at 10.30am and will be in the main space until 2.30 pm. At 3pm there will be a short service before they leave for the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King where they will remain until Tuesday morning, 20 September.
After a Service of Welcome at the Metropolitan Cathedral at 5pm there will be a torchlight procession at 7.30pm. On Sunday morning, 18 September, the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP will celebrate Mass at 11am and there will be Mass with the anointing of the Sick at 3pm.
On Monday 19 September, the day of the Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the relics will remain in the Cathedral which will be open throughout the day for those who wish to come for silent prayer and reflection. A Mass to close the pilgrimage to Liverpool will be celebrated at 7pm.
There will be a Service of Departure at 7am on Tuesday 20 September as the relics leave.
Archbishop Malcolm said: "Relics are important in our faith journey because they connect us with the past and let us know that we walk on the shoulders of giants - that is we walk following the path trodden by so many saints who have gone before us in the adventure of the Christian faith."
The Very Reverend Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, said: "We are truly honoured to be receiving the relics of St Bernadette. This act shows the deep friendship that has blossomed and grown between the Anglican and Roman Catholic church since the days of Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock. We know this will be a spiritually moving occasion for Christians across our region."
Canon Anthony O'Brien, Dean of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, added: "both our Cathedrals in Liverpool are looking forward to hosting the relics of St Bernadette. Many people of different Christian denominations on Merseyside have visited the shrine of Lourdes on pilgrimage and to have the relics visit Liverpool Anglican Cathedral as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral is a striking witness to our ecumenical partnership and cooperation. We hope the visit of the relics will be a real experience of Lourdes at home for so many people on Merseyside and further afield."
During September and October this year the relics of St Bernadette are, for the first time, on pilgrimage to England, Wales and Scotland, offering people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to experience the spiritual gifts and charisms that the French Shrine at Lourdes offers.