Two couples clebrating an impressive 60 years of marriage were among those who gathered at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh last night.
Helen & Vincent Robinson and Maureen & Robert Mochrie helped cut the cake following the Mass, which included a blessing of engaged and married couples.
Helen & Vincent Robinson, left, and Maureen & Robert Mochrie with Archbishop Leo in the Coffee Saints Cafe after Mass.
Archbishop Leo said in his homily: "Let me congratulate all of you on the happy occasion of your various anniversaries, great and small, and ask you to pray with me for those contemplating marriage, and for those who misrepresent it and misunderstand it.
From left, Deacon Tom McEvoy, Archbishop Leo and Fr Jeremy Milne (Vicar Episcopal for Marriage & Families).
"May we learn again as a society to value marriage, and to promote it to the greater good of everyone."
Lovely to meet those who attended the Mass for Married & Engaged couples last night at St Mary’s Cathedral. Special mention to Vincent & Helen Robinson and Robert & Maureen Mochrie, who are celebrating 60 years of marriage. pic.twitter.com/V9KaF6lBdD
Anna and Janusz Nieciecki, left, with Rosemary and Andrew Milligan - all members of the Archdiocesan Commission for Marriage and Families.
The event was organised organised by Fr Jeremy Milne and the Marriage & Families Commission.
Deacon John Smith with wife Louise - members of the Archdiocesan Commission for Marriage & Families.
The Mass for Married & Engaged Couples was organised by the Fr Jeremy Milne VE and the Commission for Marriage & Family Life.
Church restores obligation to attend Sunday Mass
Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have announced that the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday is to be restored from Sunday 6th March.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference, says that the obligation to attend will apply “given the easing of restrictions in every other walk of life”.
He adds that the requirement to attend, “does not apply to those who are sick and their carers or to those aware of their greater vulnerability to the virus”. Read his pastoral letter below.
On the Restoration of the Mass Obligation in the Dioceses of Scotland
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The obligation for Catholics to celebrate Sunday as a Holy Day by gathering together for Mass will be restored from the First Sunday in Lent, Sunday 6th March.
Given the easing of restrictions in every other walk of life, the Church looks forward to welcoming Catholics back to Holy Mass. As always, the obligation does not apply to those who are sick and their carers or to those aware of their greater vulnerability to the virus.
May the continuing recovery of our country bring new hope to us all especially those who are ill, those who mourn loved ones, those who are apprehensive and those who have sustained us in so many ways throughout the Pandemic.
We, the Bishops of Scotland, take this opportunity to thank our clergy and our parish volunteers for all their efforts. May our Lenten journey this year lead us to a renewed appreciation of our Catholic faith, of the celebration of the Eucharist and of the presence of the Risen Christ who is always at our side.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert
Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
Graduation ceremony for Diploma in Catechetics
Mass in St Margaret's Chapel at the Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, followed by graduation ceremony for students.
GALLERY: Mass for Feast of the Holy Innocents
Archbishop Cushley celebrated Mass for the Feast of the Holy Innocents on Tuesday in St Margaret's Chapel at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh.
In his homily he said: "A recent pro-life slogan is 'Love Them Both'. I like that because it's about the child and the mother. It will not be by shouting but by our loving example and the grace of almighty God that people's hearts will change on abortion."
Also attending was Donna Cameron from Stanton Healthcare (East of Scotland), a new centre that will provide free practical support and advice for pregnant women.
Archbishop Cushley during Mass at St Margaret's Chapel.
Archbishop Cushley and Fr Jeremy Milne, VIcar Episcopal for Marriage & Family life, chat with Donna Cameron, of Stanton Healthcare (East of Scotland).
Archbishop Cushley with members ofthe Knights of St Columba.
Donna Cameron, of Stanton Healthcare (East of Scotland) and Paul Atkin, of the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office.
Bishops postpone return of Sunday Mass Obligation
The Bishops' Conference of Scotland has postponed the restoration of the Sunday Mass Obligation.
In a statement released today, they said: "At the beginning of Advent the Bishops of Scotland looked forward to welcoming the faithful back to Holy Mass and anticipated that the restoration of the Sunday Obligation might be possible as we begin the New Year.
"Sadly, there has been a serious worsening of the situation and the restoration of the obligation [which was set for Sunday 2 January] will be postponed until a more favourable time."
They added: "For us Sunday is always a Holy Day and we invite those who are unable to be with us in person to continue to join with us in prayer and spiritual communion either by personal or family prayers or by online celebrations of Mass.
"We ask everyone to continue to pray for a speedy end to the Pandemic and for the good health of you and your loved ones in 2022. We also pray for all those who passed during 2021 and those who grieve.
"May Our Lady Health of the Sick pray for us and may Saints Andrew and Margaret protect us."
There are no further changes for places of worship as regards Covid guidelines.
Parishes are asked to continue best practice by ensuring face coverings are worn (unless exempt), that buildings are well ventilated and that hand sanitizer (and masks) are made available at the church entrance. Tea/coffee gatherings after Mass are permitted.
WATCH: Mass for the Deaf this Sunday
A Mass for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing takes place this Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, on YouTube at 9am.
It is celebrated by Archbishop Cushley at St Bennet's, Edinburgh, and is signed by Liz Ann O'Hare. Watch it below or on YouTube (captions available by clicking the 'cc' button onscreen).
Obligation to attend Sunday Mass returns in January
Scotland’s Catholic bishops have announced that with effect from Sunday 2 January 2022 the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of obligation will be reinstated.
The requirement was dispensed at the beginning of the pandemic and although churches opened and communal worship resumed, attendance was not obligatory.
In a pastoral letter, to be made available at all Masses across Scotland this weekend, the bishops say: "Thanks to the effort and good sense of so many, our churches have proven to be safe places.
"So, saving any serious worsening of the situation, we believe that Christmastide provides an opportune moment to restore the obligation."
The bishops’ letter states that anyone who is ill, showing symptoms of COVID, having underlying health conditions or those with responsibilities for people in need of special care are not obliged to attend and anyone in those groups can continue to participate online.
The bishops go on to point out that “online participation does not fulfil the obligation” noting that “Nothing can adequately replace actual presence".
It continues: "At the heart of our Christian life is the event of the Word becoming flesh and our incorporation through the Sacraments into his Body. It’s to experience this that we come to church.”