WATCH: Easter message from Archbishop Cushley

Happy Easter. He is Risen! Here is a message to you from Archbishop Leo Cushley.

Here is Archbishop Cushley's Homily from Holy Mass on Easter Sunday at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh  

My dear friends,

A very happy Easter to you all!

St John’s account of the Empty Tomb is one we always hear on Easter Sunday morning, because those of Matthew, Mark and Luke are kept for the Easter Vigil.

Somehow, this is in keeping with the slight bias in our tradition towards St John at this time, as we like to give him pride of place on the most solemn feasts.

Not only that, we listen to almost the whole of his Gospel around now, from two weeks ago in the fourth week of Lent right up until Pentecost, 50 days from now.

Our tradition does not tell us why John should be so particularly favoured.

There is, however, something that sets John apart from Matthew, Mark and Luke, and if you’ve been coming to church here for the last three days, you’ll have heard me allude to it already.

Unlike the others, St John is an eye-witness to what we read in his Gospel.

He is also a close personal friend to Jesus.  Of course, the twelve were all close to Jesus – making, for example, the scandal of Judas all the greater - but John is distinguished by his Gospel and by an ancient tradition as a very close friend of Jesus, and perhaps indeed the closest.

Modestly, in his Gospel John goes by the title “the disciple Jesus loved”.  So, although the name isn’t there for us to see, from the earliest times, tradition has always identified “the disciple Jesus loved” as John.

We are also confident that John wrote his Gospel as an old man, many years after the events themselves, and that gives his Gospel the quality of a mature and thoughtful reflection.

Nevertheless, in spite of John writing some sixty years after the events described, anyone who reads his Gospel will have no difficulty in feeling his clarity of memory, and the warmth of friendship, esteem, affection and loyalty shine through beautifully and movingly.

Even in the Gospel passage we’ve just heard, we see something of that affection in the race that takes places to the Lord’s tomb.

Peter is already marked as the leader of the Church, and so he’s always going to be first to act and first to speak - as well as the first to get it wrong, before picking himself up, brushing himself off, and eventually getting it right.  Peter is the rock.

But John is always there too.  John is the constant, loyal, affectionate companion.

He is the friend who never left Jesus.  Let’s recall that Peter and John both get into the house where the trial of Jesus is taking place on Good Friday.  John is known, and he even gets Peter in, but it is Peter, not John, who denies Jesus and runs away.

Peter lives bitterly to regret it, but John never deserts Jesus.  Of the twelve, John alone is there at the foot of the Cross, surely a very dangerous place to be, but also the loyal, faithful place to be too.

And here at the Tomb, both are there again.  Both race to the Tomb when they hear the news that it’s empty.  Peter goes in first – but it’s John, although he doesn’t go in, who arrives there before him.

Here is a subtle business.  John is the more constant disciple, the more affectionate one – but by chance or by design, it is left to Peter, the leader, to enter the tomb.  Peter becomes the principal witness to the account of the Empty Tomb, and this is not to be taken away from him, even if he must wait to meet the Lord face to face in Galilee, at the Sea of Tiberias, to be reconciled with the Lord.

John, however, is different.  John was completely constant and faithful through all the events of Jesus’ life and death.

He didn’t abandon the Lord, he didn’t run away.  He stood at the foot of the Cross with Mary and was even asked by Jesus as he hung there to look after his mother.

John has been a constant friend.  He has already told us that he stood there at the foot of the Cross; he watched it all, risked his life, and witnessed to all these things.  Standing before the Cross, he turns to us in his Gospel and says, I witnessed all these things so that you might believe.

Shortly, he will say again, with exactly the same words, I’ve written all things down - so that you might believe, and believing, have eternal life.

And sandwiched in between those two moments, those two glances at us, we have the Empty Tomb.

Peter goes right into the Tomb, he sees the linen cloths, and the one that been over the Lord’s head, in a place by itself.  But then John goes into the Tomb.  Here, all the text says is, “he saw, and he believed”.  This phrase is for John alone: “he saw, and he believed”.

Then we read, for them both, “Until this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead”.  The meaning is dawning upon them both; but John is the one who sees and believes.

There is more of this comradely, gentle rivalry between Peter and John, and later St Paul himself will describe them as among the pillars of the early Church.

But here today, for now, we notice that John, the Lord’s friend, the one who never left, who never betrayed him, who risked everything by staying with him, even at the foot of the cross, is the first to believe.

And not only that, he has written his Gospel, and he tells us so, for you and for me.  He reaches out of the pages of his Gospel, not once but twice, to speak to us.  And he says, “All that I can remember about my friend Jesus, all of it is written here, so that you also might believe, that Jesus is the Christ, and that, believing, you might have life in his name (cf. Jn 20:31).

A very happy Easter to you all!

Easter Triduum at St Mary's Cathedral

The Sacred Triduum begins on Thursday. While Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday are not holy days of obligation, all are encouraged to attend these special liturgies in preparation for Easter.

On Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is at 7:00pm with Archbishop Cushley, and is followed by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose, with watching until Night Prayer at 11:00pm.

Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence which means that all Catholics are obliged to abstain from meat, and all adults between 16 and 65 are obliged to fast. The Passion Liturgy will be held at 3:00pm by Archbishop Cushley. For those who cannot attend, there will be Stations of the Cross at 7:00pm.

On Holy Saturday His Grace will celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass at 7:00pm and 19 catechumens and candidates will be received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church at this Mass.


Thursday 28 March | 7:00pm Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Friday 29 March | 3:00pm The Passion Liturgy.

Saturday 30 March | 7:00pm Holy Saturday at the Tomb of Christ.

Sunday 31 March | Noon Easter Sunday of the Ressurection of the Lord.

For more details of services and Masses over Easter at St Mary's Cathedral please visit:

CAMPAIGN: Reaching out at Easter

We want you to support our postcard campaign to encourage people back to Mass at your parish for Easter Sunday.

Each parish has received a delivery of postcards to fill out with details of Easter Sunday Mass times (as well as Holy Saturday and Good Friday times).

Archbishop Cushley wrote to priests: "The purpose is to share Mass times for Easter Sunday with those who are away from the Church or who haven’t attended in a while.

"In this small, practical way we can reach out and encourage people back to Mass at the most important time in the Liturgical year."

Completed postcards can be completed and popped through letterboxes or left at the back of the Church for people to pick one up to share with someone who may not have been to Mass in a while and who may appreciate an invite to Mass on Easter Sunday.

Here's a quick guide on how to make the most of the postcards.

Want more postcards?
We have a limited number available for collection from the Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BB. Please contact

To print professionally
Send this file to a local printing firm. Decide how many you want printed and give them these details: Size - 148mm x 105mm, double-sided. Full colour 350gsm uncoated offset.

Questions? Email or call 07833 208 211.

WATCH: Our first talk on the Acts of the Apostles

Here is the first talk in a series of four on the Acts of the Apostles with Sr Anna Marie McGuan RSM. Watch below or on our YouTube channel. Catch the next talk live at 1:30pm on Monday 9 May.


Join us on our YouTube channel next Monday 9 May at 1:30pm as we continue the series (30 min talk).

WATCH: Reflections at the Quay for Easter

Archbishop Cushley appeared on BBC1's Reflections at the Quay on Easter Sunday. You can watch the episode on the iPlayer. Just click this link:

He is risen! Archbishop Cushley's Easter message

Happy Easter to all in the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh!

In a message to Catholics, Archbishop Leo Cushley said: "Our celebrations this year are in a context of greater hope and optimism than we had last year. It is also a sobering moment, a time to remember those who have died over the last year; to pause over their memory with affection and gratitude, and to entrust them to the Lord.

"But the story we remembered on Good Friday and that of the Lord's Tomb is one that fills us with quiet confidence, with hope and with the thrill of New Life before us, because we believe that, by joining Christ in death we can also join him in life.

"Let us therefore today look up from the Empty Tomb with renewed hope and joy in the Lord."

WATCH: Archbishop's Easter message on BBC Scotland

Archbishop Leo Cushley gave an Easter message of hope when he appeared on BBC1 Scotland's Reflections at the Quay on Sunday. He was joined by the Right Rev Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

You can watch the full programme here.

Archbishop Cushley also appeared on 'Sunday Morning' on BBC Radio Scotland at 10am. You can listen to the programme here.[0]=68.ARA5AUFieItmCoLaPbJDOFcwXPBlZMtjNZRLieXR9LBmyAo_C4eAW6ZVYkztZx1VgEfHEPGpo_3h0RmYNuLw71inb6Mvwj037lA7PE3VowZaXXXYpydOdNSsgkeHeAIyEiXgf6F1-CyPppVxOijetGgCt7h7C_iGKLDJMilDIVl3aabGOe8AEYiNefwccnnGY3h4QNyO9ryttE_NOfP9TcjK2ZNhn717eWUOECFGEqrCXWaBsQa_9c2IOWmvtdMpgQyPmHMI-ZhYIBw95UyZadoPk91fL80MJlVMXATw_i2K6WE_SoX62U4O68Lc96xQP0fTndQO-aiWEwg9ed3Ri7t9-jabZo7ZzJE&__tn__=-R


Happy Easter to you all!

Happy Easter to you all! Here are some viewing/listening options for today.

You can watch Mass with Archbishop Cushley at 9am.

You can watch the Ecumenical service 'Reflections on the Quay' at midday on BBC1 Scotland.

Tune into BBC Radio Scotland at 10am, for the Sunday Morning Show, featuring Archbishop Cushley. And don't forget Mass is on BBC1 Scotland today at 1:15pm.

Have a happy, holy day!

Easter message of hope from Bishops

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has issued the following Easter Message.

"As we celebrate Easter this year we cannot escape the suffering inflicted upon us by the Covid-19 Virus. The pandemic is afflicting the whole world and we pray for all those who have caught the virus, their loved ones and those caring for them.

"Our lives are greatly restricted and on Easter Sunday, the holiest day of the Christian calendar, we will not be able to go to church. It is hard to find hope in the present situation, but as Christians, we know that the risen Lord is our hope. His suffering death and resurrection give us hope that we will recover, that life will get better and that our nation will feel the peace and love of the risen Christ.

"We also have hope in the ingenuity and the generosity of humanity. Though many uncertainties lie ahead, our hope and our determination to recover the lives we once lived is strong.

"We are grateful to all those who work in healthcare and supply the essential services we rely on. We especially give thanks for the commitment and compassion of our medical professionals and we pray that all their decisions will respect the lives of the most vulnerable, entrusted to their care.

"We pray too for the researchers around the world working to develop a vaccine and for our political leaders who must make difficult decisions.

"May God bless you all and our world this Easter."

Bishop Hugh Gilbert
Bishop John Keenan
Bishop Brian McGee
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia
Archbishop Leo Cushley
Bishop Joseph Toal
Bishop William Nolan
Bishop Stephen Robson