Archbishop Nolan decided that he would mark the presentation and receipt of the Synod Reports from the deaneries of the Archdiocese by a celebration of the Vespers for the Feast of Corpus Christi on 19th June. There was an open invitation to parishioners from across the Archdiocese to attend the liturgy and celebrate the completion of this first stage of the synodal journey. The music of the service was led by the St Mungo Singers and there was a great sense of community and real participation as cantors led the congregation in the responses to the psalms and canticle.
The Canticle from Apocalypse 19
In his homily, Archbishop Nolan commented that the Synodal process has produced reactions of either enthusiasm or despair. The Covid pandemic had not helped a process which was being carried out worldwide and which had never been done before. For its success two things were needed: that we all speak out and that we listen, each of us, to the other, with faith in the Holy Spirit which has been given to each of us. He reminded the congregation that the feast of Corpus Christi spoke of our faith in Christ present under the sign of bread. Was it harder to believe that the Holy Spirit was present in one another? We must an openness to God to direct his Church.
The Synod reports from the Deaneries of the Archdiocese were presented formally to the Archbishop to begin their journey with reports from across the world to Rome for the Synod meeting in October 2023. In the Intercessions which followed, the congregation prayed for the ability to listen to what the Spirit was saying to the churches, to walk together in communion with the Lord and to participate in the life of his Church in service of all his children.
The final hymn of the Vespers – Stephen Smyth’s O God, Eternal One, based on the Book of Wisdom – summed up the central prayer of those present in its refrain “Send us your wisdom now”.