The Mass to inaugurate the Pastoral Ministry of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia as Archbishop of Glasgow took place in St. Andrew’s Cathedral on 8 September (the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) in the presence of fellow bishops, priests and religious, representatives of the parish communities of the Archdiocese, leaders of other churches and invited guests from local authorities within the Archdiocese, and from the police and fire services.
As the congregation gathered for the service, the Archdiocesan choir, the St.Mungo Singers, were joined by members of the Cathedral parish choir and instrumentalists in providing music to create an atmosphere of quiet anticipation. Then the clergy of the Archdiocese processed to the Sanctuary, as the choirs led the congregation in singing the Introit: ‘I lift my soul to you, I trust you, Lord my God’ and then the prophetic “Tell out, my soul”.
A cantor introduced the Pauline Greeting “Grace to you and peace”, as Archbishop Tartaglia arrived at the door of the Cathedral, accompanied by his brother Canon Gerard Tartaglia and by Archbishop Emeritus Conti, and was greeted by Mgr. McElroy, the Provost of the Cathedral Chapter. The Rite of Sprinkling followed as the congregation sang the Canticle of Ezekiel “Hear me, my people”.
The Archbishop then moved on to the Blessed Sacrament chapel for a moment of prayer before vesting forMass. Meanwhile the church leaders present were led in procession to their places as everyone joined in the very apt hymn “The Church’s One Foundation”.
The next stage of the service was the final address to the congregation by Archbishop Conti before the Papal Letter of Appointment was read, and the congregation responded with the singing of what has now become the Glasgow anthem “Let Glasgow Flourish”.
Archbishop Tartaglia now took his place at the Cathedra and received from Archbishop Conti the Pastoral Staff, marking symbolically the handover of the care of the Archdiocese to its new Archbishop.
With the completion of the formal installation, the Mass proceeded with the singing of the Gloria in the new St. Andrew setting by Mgr. Gerry Fitzpatrick. The readings were those of the Feast including the sung Psalm 66, and the Gospel was sung by Deacon Kevin Kelly.
In his homily, Archbishop Tartaglia expressed his feeling of honour at his appointment to his home city and Diocese as successor of St. Mungo – a man of faith, service and holiness. A further link to the past was the chalice he would be using at the Mass, which was one which had been given to Bishop Alexander Smith by Pope Pius IX, and in turn had been presented to him by the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception. His pectoral cross dated from the time of Bishop Ayre.
Looking towards the Year of Faith which would begin in October, he reminded the congregation that the Church’s proposal to the world is a person – Jesus Christ who is endlessly relevant to our world. He put his trust unconditionally and only in Jesus Christ and he invited the people of the Diocese and his fellow Christians present in the Cathedral to do the same.
After the homily, all joined in singing Credo 3, which was followed by General Intercessions for the Diocese, the Church and the world. As the Preparation of Gifts proceeded, choir and congregation sang the Canticle from Colossians “Let’s Give Thanks to God our Father”. The Eucharistic Prayer opened with the sung Preface Dialogue, and the choirs led the congregation in the ‘Jubilee Sanctus’ and Memorial Acclamation.
At the beginning of the Communion Rite, the Plainchant Pater Noster balanced Credo 3 and gave a contrast with the new Mass setting. The Communion Procession was accompanied by a mix of hymns, choral motets and instrumental music.
After Communion Mgr. Brian Udaigwe of the Papal Nunciature brought greetings to Archbishop Tartaglia on behalf of the Papal Nuncio and thanks from the Pope to Archbishop Emeritus Conti. Cardinal O’Brien spoke on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, congratulating Archbishop Tartaglia on his new appointment and thanking Archbishop Emeritus Conti for his many years of service.
The Mass ended with a sung Blessing, the singing of the Salve Regina in honour of Our Blessed Lady and the joyful recessional hymn “God, We Praise You”. As the congregation left to make its way to the City Chambers where a Civic Reception was being held for the Archbishop, the choir sang the beautiful Vaughan Williams anthem “O How Amiable”.
At the City Chambers, Lord Provost Sadie Docherty added the City Council’s congratulations to Archbishop Tartaglia, and the City provided a splendid buffet to bring a joyful occasion to a fitting end.