To all the faithful of the
Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Corpus Christi, 2021
My dear friends,
As we look forward to an easing of Covid-related restrictions, I would like to invite all Catholics to return to attendance at Mass as soon as possible.
It is true that, in order to slow the spread of the virus, the Bishops of Scotland last year suspended the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, but I am confident that the time is now approaching when it will be safe enough for everyone to return to the full practice of our faith.
We all know that the best way to do that is to assemble together as God’s holy people to celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday. It behoves the clergy to facilitate the celebration of an attractive and spirit-lifting Sunday liturgy, and it likewise behoves the People of God to take up all the roles that belong to them in making sure that the Mass reflects the full and active participation of us all.
I therefore encourage everyone to return to Sunday Mass and to their various tasks in the Church and in the liturgy as soon as possible.
Let us put coming to Mass and the Sacraments back into the landscape of our lives.
As you know, the Eucharist has been handed down to us from the Lord Himself, and it has always been at the very heart of our faith as Catholic Christians. Let us now renew our appreciation of the Eucharist, and give the Lord’s Day back to Him by coming regularly to Mass.
Let us also renew our efforts to pass on our love and devotion to the Mass to those who are coming after us. And let us help our young people regain a sense of the sacred by sharing with them our own desire to gather before the Lord and to offer the supreme sacrifice that takes away our sins.
It is in order foster a rediscovery of the great gift of Christ’s abiding presence in the Eucharist that I have also decided to relaunch the simple and beautiful tradition of the 40 Hours Devotion in this Diocese.
From Advent of this Year every parish in the Diocese will have a time allotted to it for the 40 Hours Devotion and I am asking both priests and people to work together to make this annual period of parochial prayer and devotion also a moment of real renewal in our Eucharistic faith.
This simple, beautiful devotion was deeply popular in the past and has recently been taken up again – especially among young people. It is a tradition of silent, private prayer before the Lord, present in the Blessed Sacrament – an opportunity for local communities to join together to watch and pray.
This opportunity will be made available to everyone, in all our churches, soon. So, I ask all our clergy, teachers and catechists to prepare, so that we can all seize this wonderful opportunity to be with the Lord in the Eucharist and to listen to Him speak to us in our hearts.
Thank you for your attention. May God bless you and yours, and may He bring us safely out of these difficult days into better and safer times!
Sincerely in the Lord,
Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh