A solemn High Mass and an exhibition of precious artefacts mark the centenary of its consecration

A solemn High Mass was celebrated at Westminster Cathedral on June 28 to mark the centenary of its consecration.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols was the principal celebrant and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor gave the homily. The Dean of Westminster Abbey, Dr John Hall, also attended.

The Catholic Cathedral Church of Westminster, which is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, was designed in the early Christian Byzantine style by the Victorian architect John Francis Bentley.

The centenary is also being marked by an exhibition, “Treasures of the Cathedral” which will be open to the public from Thursday 1 July 2010. It will display some of Westminster Cathedral’s most precious artefacts.

Later this year, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 18 September 2010 as part of his visit to Britain.

Canon Christopher Tuckwell, administrator of the Cathedral, said: “Every significant era, especially this one, is an opportunity for all of us in the Catholic community to re-consecrate ourselves to the service of Almighty God.

“The Treasure of the Cathedral exhibition is a very exciting event and I hope that, by making available to the public some of the lovely things normally stored out of sight, it will arouse a greater interest in the Cathedral and its artefacts. I consider it a tremendous honour to be the administrator of Westminster Cathedral in the year in which we celebrate our Centenary and in which we look forward to the visit in September of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.” In his introduction to the Order of Service Archbishop Vincent Nichols gave thanks to God for the dedication and hard work of the many people who founded and have served Westminster Cathedral since its foundation.

He said: “Starting from the vision and determination of the Cathedral’s founders, Cardinal Vaughan and Mr Francis Bentley its architect, the list becomes long and distinguished, too long to be spelt out here in any detail.

“But in my mind and prayers are so many members of the clergy of the Diocese who have served the Cathedral, both its parish and its daily life, with dedication and, most often, cheerfulness. But I think, too, of so many generous volunteers and benefactors.”