Category Archives: Liturgy

Celebrating God’s Mercy

On Thursday 28 April at 7:00pm St Joseph’s, Gilesgate, Durham will host our Deanery Service for the Year of Mercy.There will be a preparation meeting held at St Joseph’s on Tuesday 29 March at 11am, and we will be joined by Kathryn Turner, Head of the Diocesan Department for Spirituality and Sister Michael from the Evangelisation Team. Their role is the help us as a deanery prepare a unique liturgy specifically tailored to the choices of our deanery – i.e. our favourite readings about mercy, hymns etc. If you would like to attend the preparation meeting please contact Ciara Herbert in the Parish Office (; tel. 0191 384 3442).

Jubilee Vespers at Westminster Cathedral

JubileeLogo2016 is the year when the Dominican Order celebrates 800 years since its foundation. There are various events happening throughout the year to mark this anniversary, but our big celebration event, which will gather together all parts of the Order in Britain, and their friends and supporters, will be held at Westminster Cathedral in London on Friday 29 April (Feast of St Catherine of Siena) at 2.30pm.

We would like to welcome as many members of Dominican parishes and chaplaincies as possible to join us for this celebration, which will take the form of a Solemn Vespers with Cardinal Nichols; Most Rev. Malcolm McMahon OP (Archbishop of Liverpool and our Metropolitan) will preach, and we will be joined by Dominican sisters, Lay Dominicans, schools with Dominican connections and many friends and family. Durham alumnus Sir James MacMillan has composed an antiphon especially for this occasion and it will be sung by the Cathedral Choir.

If you would like to come, please could you sign up by Sunday 28 February on the sheet provided at the back of church, giving your full name, address and email address; alternatively e-mail these details to Ciara Herbert (Chaplaincy/Parish Secretary) on

Receiving Holy Communion

A request from the Parish Pastoral Council: if receiving Holy Communion, please approach the altar row by row, starting with the front row once the servers and choir have received. We hope this will make these moments before receiving the sacrament less “scrum-like” and more dignified and prayerful. Thank you for your co-operation!

College Mass – Hatfield

The first college Mass of term takes place at 7:00pm on Wednesday 24 February in the Chapel of Hatfield College (just next to the main college entrance on North Bailey).

All parishioners and University members are welcome and warmly invited to the Mass.

Because of the college Mass there will be no “holy half hour” of Vespers, exposition and confessions at St Cuthbert’s that Wednesday evening.

Visiting Preacher – Abp Patrick Kelly

Archbishop-Patrick-Kelly_largeThis Sunday, 7 February 2016, we welcome as celebrant and preacher at the 10:00am Parish Mass and the 6:30pm Student Mass the Most Rev. Patrick Kelly, Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool.

Archbishop Patrick was Bishop of Salford from 1984 before moving to Liverpool in 1996; as Archbishop of Liverpool he was our Metropolitan in the Northern Province, and Chair of the Trustees of Ushaw College, Durham. He stepped down as Archbishop in 2013 and now enjoys an active retirement with a particular passion for the Holy Land.

Ash Wednesday

fasting-ash-wednesday-2015-4Wednesday 10 February is Ash Wednesday. Masses will be at 12:15pm (said) and 6:30pm (sung); the Chaplaincy Choir will sing at the evening Mass and the music will include Allegri’s Miserere during the imposition of ashes.

Vespers will be at the slightly earlier time of 6:00pm.

Divine Liturgy of St John Chrisostom

ChrisostomFr Mark Woodruff of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London (and alumnus of St Chad’s) will celebrate the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom at St Cuthbert’s on Wednesday 3 February at 7:00pm. This is the form of celebrating the Eucharist (the Mass) in the Eastern churches following the Byzantine tradition, both Catholic and Orthodox. The Ukrainian Catholic Church is the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which are in full communion with the Pope.

All are welcome to participate in this celebration of the Divine Liturgy, which will be sung in English and will last a little over an hour. We will be celebrating the “after-feast” of the Encounter of Our Lord in the Temple – i.e. a special liturgy for the day following the Feast of the Presentation. Those normally able to receive Holy Communion at Mass may receive Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy.

Please note that in order to allow for preparations for the Divine Liturgy, there will be no confessions or exposition beforehand.

Holy Half Hour

Most Wednesdays during university term (and continuing through Lent) we have a “Holy Half Hour” before the 7pm Mass – after the celebration of Vespers at 6:15pm, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and there is opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance (Confession).

All are welcome to come along for this time of quiet prayer and reflection.

University Vacation

During the University Christmas Vacation the Sunday evening Mass will be relatively subdued musically and there will be no Wednesday “Holy Half Hour” of Exposition with Confessions from Christmas until the new term begins.

The Sung Student Mass resumes on Sunday 17 January, and Holy Half Hour on Wednesday 20 January.

Churches Together New Year’s Eve Candlelit Procession

Durham Churches Together – the group of Christian communities in Durham (including St Cuthbert’s) working together – holds its annual Candlelit Procession and service on New Year’s Eve (Thursday 31 December) in thanksgiving for the year past, and praying for God’s blessings in the year to come.We gather in the Market Place at 6:15pm (please bring your own candle/lantern), and then proceed along the Bailey to Palace Green. There is a service of prayer together in Durham Cathedral at 6:30pm.

Christmas at St Cuthbert’s


  • Christmas Day (Friday 25 December): midnight and 10:30am
  • St Stephen’s Day (Saturday 26 December): 9:15am
  • Holy Family (Sunday 27 December): 10:00am and 6:30pm
  • 28th-31st December: 9:15am
  • New Year’s Day (1 January 2016): 12:15pm.

Sacrament of Penance (Confession)

  • from 9:45am on Saturday 19 December
  • from 6:30pm on Wednesday 23 December
  • from 11:15pm on Thursday 24 December
For more details about Christmas services, see

Obligation to celebrate

Veni, veni Emmanuel‘I believe in the Holy Spirit…who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified…’

This article of the creed declares our faith in the Holy Spirit and directs us to give praise to the Spirit as we do the Father and the Son. During Advent, we tend to focus (and rightly so) on the Word Incarnate; the creed reminds us that the Incarnation (like creation) is a work of the whole Trinity.

Not only does the Spirit claim our adoration as the One by whom Mary conceived the Christ child; the Spirit also makes the space in our hearts to celebrate his birth and to hope for his return. Yet Advent has become a time when we do not only prepare for the spiritual event of the Nativity. We prepare food and buy gifts, write cards and plan parties. And we do so amidst the usual circumstances of our lives, getting on with work and family obligations, and coping with the disappointment and loss that comes our way regardless of the season.

At Christmas the Lord calls us to set aside all that troubles us and give glory to the One who is ‘born the king of angels.’ We tend to think, perhaps, that the hard spiritual work we do is in Lent. But the joyous celebration of Christmas is no less an obligation than the penitence of Lent. When the day arrives and we announce the ‘Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,’ may the Holy Spirit help us to sing with glad hearts, ‘O come, let us adore Him.’

Part of a series on the Creed by Medi Ann Volpe. For the final run-up to Christmas, we recommend:

Advent Carol Service

Advent Wreath and Christmas TreeSt Cuthbert’s Parish and the Durham University Catholic Society warmly invite you to our Advent Carol Service at 6:30pm on Wednesday 16 December. Come along for an evening of traditional readings from Scripture and carol singing, led by the choirs of the Parish and Chaplaincy, as we unfold the Christmas Story together.

Do also join us for some festive refreshments in the Parish Room (just behind the church) after the service. We hope to see you there – and we warmly encourage you to bring friends along.

Because of the Carol Service, Mass on 16 December will be celebrated at the earlier time of 12:15pm. There will be no “Holy Half Hour” of Vespers, exposition and confessions that evening.

Opening of Year of Mercy

Merciful like the Father (Year of Mercy)The Jubilee Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis opens this coming Tuesday, 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

From 8am to 8pm that day at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions available; Bishop Séamus will celebrate Mass at 7:15am and 12:05pm, and give a talk at 10:30am.

Then, on Sunday 13 December at 3:00pm, Bishop Séamus will open the Holy Door at the Cathedral. All are welcome at any of these celebrations.

College Mass – St John’s

St Johns ChapelThe first college Mass of term takes place at 7:00pm on Wednesday 18 November in the Chapel of St John’s College (i.e. the Church of St Mary the Less on South Bailey).

All parishioners and University members are welcome and warmly invited to the Mass.

Because of the college Mass there will be no “holy half hour” of Vespers, exposition and confessions at St Cuthbert’s that Wednesday evening.