Category Archives: Liturgy

Start of Term

With the start of the University Term, “Holy Half Hour” (Exposition with confession available) will resume 6:30pm-6:55pm on Wednesday 7 October (and will be a regular feature most Wednesday evenings between now and Christmas). The Sunday evening sung Student Mass begins again on Sunday 11 October at 6:30pm.

Collingwood College Mass

The last college Mass of the academic year will take place at 7:00pm on Wednesday 17 June in the Dales Suite of Collingwood College (an exec member will be at reception to direct you). All are welcome and warmly invited to the Mass.

Apocalypse Study Day and Visiting Preacher


fr. David Sanders OP
will lead a study day at St Cuthbert’s on Saturday 30 May on the theme of The Apocalypse. fr. David is Master of Students for the English Dominican Friars and teaches Scripture at Blackfriars, Oxford.

The day begins with refreshments from 10:00am for a 10:30am, and includes Mass (at 12:15pm, which will be the Parish Mass that day) and will finish by 4:00pm. All are welcome to attend. Lunch will be on a “bring and share” basis.

Please note that because of this Study Day there will be no Mass at 9:15am on Saturday 30 May.

fr. David Sanders will also preach at the Masses at St Cuthbert’s on Sunday 31 May, Trinity Sunday.

College Mass – St Chad’s College

The first college Mass of term takes place at 7:00pm on Wednesday 27 May in the Chapel of St Chad’s College (a CathSoc exec member will be in the lodge for directions). All 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.

Tenebrae and Triduum

Holy Week and Easter are times of the year when Catholics use words which we never use at other times of the year, and which perhaps leave us a little bemused if we’re not quite sure what they mean!

The Easter Triduum is the high point of the Church’s year, and consists of a liturgy in three acts over three successive days as we follow Christ through his Passion and Resurrection. It begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00pm in which we commemorate Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet, the institution of the Eucharist and his night of intense prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The “second act” of the Triduum is the Solemn Commemoration of the Passion of the Lord at 3:00pm on Good Friday. We recall Christ’s death on the cross, by which the sins of the world are taken away. It is a hugely moving yet stark and solemn liturgy.

The climax of the whole liturgical year comes with the Easter Vigil beginning at 8:30pm on Holy Saturday, a dramatic celebration of Christ’s resurrection with full sensory immersion! The liturgy starts with the blessing of the new fire and the proclamation of the resurrection, continuing with a vigil of readings and psalms, celebration of baptism and confirmation, and first Mass of Easter. Appropriately enough, after the liturgy we celebrate with a joyful Paschal party in the Parish Room!

We warmly encourage those who are able to join us for the celebration of all three parts of the Triduum. The Vigil may be a little late for young children, but is an intensely moving experience for teenagers and adults. It is also much easier to find a seat at the Easter Vigil than at the packed Easter Sunday morning Mass.

A quieter celebration is the office of Tenebrae at 10:00am on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. This is a meditative service of psalms, readings and prayers as we think on Christ’s passion and death. It lasts about 45 minutes, and is followed by an opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance (Confession).

Deanery Penitential Service

There will be a Lenten Penitential Service for the Durham Deanery at St Patrick’s Church, Langley Moor on Sunday 22 March at 4:30pm. Priests from around the Deanery will be available to hear individual confessions.

Of course, the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) is also available at St Cuthbert’s from 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings during Lent and from 9:45am on Saturday mornings, or by appointment, or on call. There will also be extra opportunities for Confession during Holy Week.

This is an excellent time to bring our sins before the Lord, and prepare to celebrate Easter cleansed and renewed by him.

Lenten Fridays: Vespers, Stations, Film

Each Friday in Lent we are be celebrating Vespers and Stations of the Cross at 6:15pm. Following Stations (c. 7:00pm), we will also show an appropriate film. Do come for some or all of the evening. 

Friday 27 March is the last Friday of Lent before Good Friday; being “Passiontide” we will show Mel Gibson’s powerful (and at times disturbing) film The Passion of the Christ, starring Jim Caviezel as Christ as he endures his last twelve hours. NB not suitable for children.

Visit of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

Prominent during Pope Francis’ tour of the Philippines, where he gathered a record crowd of over 6 million people for the celebration of Mass, was the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and we are fortunate that he will be visiting St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle on Monday 9 March. He will celebrate the 12.05pm Mass (which will be sung), and will speak at an Evening Celebration at 7.00pm. Cardinal Tagle is an inspiring communicator and is well respected for his involvement in many social issues and his work among the poor. Everyone is welcome.