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Inside Westminster Cathedral London Inside Westminster Cathedral London  (AFP or licensors)

Cardinal Nichols celebrates Mass for Covid-19 victims

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, celebrates Mass on Tuesday for all those who have died of Covid-19 in Europe.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Over the course of Lent, Europe’s Catholic bishops are celebrating Masses to serve as a Eucharistic chain in memory of, and in suffrage for, over 770,000 people who have died from coronavirus.

One great human family

In his homily on Tuesday at Westminster Cathedral in London, Cardinal Nichols recalled Pope Francis’ vigil one year ago in St Peter’s Square, in which he “prayed for our entire human family, caught in the midst of this dreadful pandemic.” The Cardinal added that it was there the Pope “emphasised that the great family of humanity found itself in one and the same boat, battling together against the storm of the effects of the pandemic.”

Grief and pain

First among those effects, the Archbishop of Westminster said, “has been the deaths of so many people, in every country of Europe; in this country alone over 120,000.”

He highlighted that many of these deaths had taken place in “an enforced isolation, adding a stark depth to the pain of the dying and to the grief of the bereaved.”

Three great truths

Drawing from the day’s Gospel passage from St Matthew, the Cardinal said that we are called to “remember three basic truths of our existence.”

“As we continue our struggle against this pandemic, as we build a new future, let us remember these three great truths: one Father, one family, one great Teacher (Christ) in the way of truth. Then we will indeed build back better.”

Everlasting life

He concluded by saying, “As we pray for those who have died, let us be strengthened in the sure and certain hope that for those embraced by God, life is changed, not ended, and when the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, God will draw us into an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.”

03 March 2021, 14:54