St Andrew’s Cathedral was the setting for a unique service on 22 October when the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, placed on the shoulders of Archbishop Nolan the pallium with which he had been presented by Pope Francis in Rome in the Summer. In the past this ceremony would have taken place in Rome but Pope Francis has indicated that it should now take place in the home Archdiocese. The Mass was attended by several of Archbishop Nolan’s fellow bishops, by many of the priests of the Archdiocese and by an enthusiastic congregation. The Archdiocesan choir, the St Mungo Singers, were also in attendance to lead the music of the liturgy.
After the opening hymn, Anne Carter’s setting of the Magnificat, Archbishop Gugerotti explained that the Pallium is a sign of joy, being symbolic of belonging to the universal church. It is a symbol of the connection with the Apostolic See which is why it was placed on the tomb of St Peter on the night before the service in Rome, and it is a symbol of the Archbishop as shepherd and of each of us as the sheep for whom he is responsible. He invited everyone to pray for Archbishop Nolan, saying wryly that it is not easy today to be a bishop. Archbishop Nolan then repeated the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Allegiance which he had made when appointed as Archbishop, and the Nuncio placed the Pallium on his shoulders.
The Mass continued with readings from Jeremiah 1:4-9 and the Letter to the Ephesians 4:1-7;11-13, Psalm 23 and the Gospel reading from St John 10:11-18 on the Good Shepherd. The Gospel Acclamation – Go Make Disciples of All the Nations – provided an unstated link to the Apostolic See as it had been written for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Glasgow.
Refreshments provided in the Eyre Hall after the Mass gave the congregation an opportunity to speak to the Archbishop and congratulate him on this joyful day.