Easter Day celebrations began early this year at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King with the 6.35 am broadcast on BBC Radio 4 of the 'Sunrise Service'.
The Cathedral Dean, Canon Anthony O'Brien, led the service and the music came from the Cathedral Girls' Choir.
The Solemn Mass of Easter Day was celebrated at 11.00 am by Bishop Vincent Malone with a special guest in attendance. Bishop Malone has celebrated all the Easter Services at the Cathedral this year as Archbishop Patrick Kelly convalesces following hip replacement surgery. However, on Easter Sunday, the Archbishop was feeling well enough to come to the Cathedral and sit in the sanctuary to concelebrate the Mass. It will still be some weeks before Archbishop Patrick resumes his duties and he received a warm welcome from the Cathedral community.
The full Cathedral Choir took part in the music of the Mass which began with the hymn: 'Jesus Christ is risen today'. The Gloria was from the 'Mass in G' by Franz Schubert. In his homily Bishop Malone referred to the statue of the Risen Christ by the late sculptor, Arthur Dooley, which is in the Cathedral's Blessed Sacrament Chapel, he spoke of how the design links together the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday morning.
Afetr the homily the congregation joined in renewing their Baptismal Promises before being sprinkled with Baptismal water, blessed at the Easter Vigil. The offertory gifts were brought to the altar as the Choir sang Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus'. After communion the congregation joined in singing the Easter hymn: 'Thine be the glory'.
On the afternoon of Easter Day the Cathedral was again the setting for a broadcast, this time of Choral Evening Prayer, on BBC Radio 3. Bishop Malone again presided and, at the invitation of Archbishop Patrick Kelly, the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of LIverpool, preached. He spoke movingly of the victory of Jesus over death and of the account of the appearance of Jesus to the disciples at which he gives them the gift of the Spirit saying 'Receive the Holy Spirit'.