My dear brothers and sisters,
You will by now have heard the news that public Masses will not be celebrated in the Archdiocese of Glasgow for an indefinite period after today, the Feast of St Joseph, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
St Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church and we ask for his prayers at this time.
The decision to suspend Masses was for me most distressing. Heartbreaking, I would say. In the end, however, I could not avoid it. I know that you will be very sad. It is really hard to contemplate weeks and months without Mass.
I said in my homily last Sunday that, whatever happened, the Church would not abandon you. I repeat that pledge to you now. So here are some ways in which you can sustain your life in Christ and in the Church.
• During this time without Mass, every parish Church is unfortunately closed
• If you want Confession ask the priest .
• Again, if you need the Anointing of the Sick, just phone your priest.
• You can say the Rosary at any time and call on the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
• Mass is streamed live from St Andrew’s Cathedral every day. Some parish churches have the same facility.
• Try to follow Holy Week and the Passion of Jesus from your home. I know it’s almost unthinkable that we cannot kiss the Cross on Good Friday and go to Mass on Easter Sunday, but we can still celebrate the Sacred Triduum and Easter in our homes by following Mass on television or live screening. We may also be able to see the Holy Father give us his blessing on Easter Sunday.
• Keep in touch with us through consulting the Archdiocese of Glasgow website and Facebook pages. There will be regular updates on our response to the pandemic. We would really love to hear from you there too.
During Lent we are called to follow Jesus more faithfully. We never imagined that our Lenten penance would be that we would have to do without Mass. We never imagined that Our Lenten fast would be a fast from the bread of life in the Holy Eucharist. So our Lent will continue into Easter as we wait with patience until we can be satisfied once more with Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
I do not know how long this pandemic is going to last. I do not know how long we will have to be without public Mass. Soon we will be at Easter. “Christ is truly risen, Alleluia”, is the acclamation. We continue to put our trust in Jesus as we confront these strange and unprecedented days.
I give you my word that I will reinstate public Masses as soon as we are told it is safe to do so. In the meantime, let us pray for each other. Keep safe. Keep well.
May God bless you all.
Yours devotedly in Christ
Archbishop of Glasgow
Feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church