Saturday, 20 June 2015

a mass like no other

Order of Service for the Bishop's Golden Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving
© Teresa Newham
I was recently delighted to be asked to provide some artwork for a Mass of Thanksgiving to be held at our church for Bishop John Crowley's Golden Jubilee.  I handed over various designs and was thrilled when I saw the Order of Service; appropriately for a celebration of fifty years of priesthood, The Good Shepherd had been used on the front cover.

choir's-eye-view of the entry procession
© Teresa Newham
Those of us in the choir had a privileged view of  proceedings - although just being there was privilege enough.  How many people can say they've been to a Golden Jubilee Mass?  I never did manage to count how many priests were present.  I was trying to sing the Kyrie and the Gloria without being distracted by He is Risen, originally conceived as an Easter card:

'He is Risen' sandwiched between the Kyrie and the Gloria
© Teresa Newham
I am the Vine, (like The Good Shepherd, one of the Signs quartet),  appeared beneath the Communion hymn - another apt placement, beautifully complemented by the piece we sang while the priests were receiving:

Eat this Bread, drink this Cup, come to Me and never be hungry,
Eat this Bread, drink this Cup, trust in Me and you will not thirst.

'I am the Vine' and the communion hymn
© Teresa Newham
 As regular readers of this blog may remember, Signs is a meditation piece inspired by Pope John Paul II's Letter to Artists, and my first serious attempt at religious imagery following my reception into the Catholic Church in 2011;  a third part of the work, Loaves & Fish, had been used on the back cover, this time to encourage folk along to the reception after Mass:

'Loaves & Fish' on the back
© Teresa Newham
I've always felt that these little images were given to me to share with other people: and I'm grateful that they became part of this unique and special occasion, in honour of a unique and special man.


  1. I hadn't realised that the illustrations were carefully positioned to reflect the different stages of the liturgy.It was a truly beautiful Mass.

    1. It was one of the most moving Masses I've been to. Katie chose the pictures which would best fit in with the proceedings and gave a lot of thought to the placement of each one.