At the time of writing the Prime Minister had just announced further restrictions to put the country on alert level four – the second-highest possible level on the scale of measures following the increase in coronavirus cases. Clearly, this pandemic is continuing to have a profound effect on every aspect of our society, with some people and sectors being more affected than others.
Thankfully, we are still able to have public celebrations of Mass and the celebration of other Sacraments with limited congregations, but the regular life of our parishes and Cathedral remain significantly affected during this ongoing situation. Our normal pastoral contact with people and groups cannot take place and with so much uncertainty surrounding how long we will carry on like this, we cannot plan ahead for events and special services which otherwise would be at the heart of regular Cathedral life.
One recent concession we have been given for services is that we can now have a small number of singers singing provided that they are safely distanced from one another. With the support of Friends of Cathedral Music, we have also been given a small grant so that we can manage to stream choral evening prayer online, in addition to having some limited choral music at public services.
The Cathedral music department is now beginning to prepare recorded choral services for November, Advent and the Christmas period. These will be available for all to watch at the appropriate liturgical season in case we are not able to have any special services at these times.