On Friday 25th and Saturday 26th November 2022, the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre hosted a Vigil Mass, and subsequently an Investiture Service and Holy Mass, in St George's Cathedral, during which new members of the Order were welcomed. The roots of the order date back to just after the first Crusade, when a tradition of ceremonially appointing Knights at the Holy Sepulchre developed.
Archbishop John Wilson, KC*HS, Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy of England and Wales, offered his sermon during the Vigil Mass on Friday 25th November, whilst the Grand Master of the Order, His Eminence Cardinal Filoni, gave his sermon on 26th November 2022. Both were given at St George's Cathedral and can be read in full here:
Homily by Archbishop John Wilson
Dear and beloved Cardinal Grand Master
Dear members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
Dear brothers and sisters to be invested as Knights and Dames
Let me ask two very basic questions. What does it mean for us to keep vigil tonight? What does it mean to bless the robes and insignia of those to be invested as knights and dames tomorrow?
Putting it simply, I think it means this: we keep vigil in order to raise our hearts and minds in prayer to God our Almighty Father. We pray that our hearts might be so enlarged by God’s love that we might reach out towards the needs of others. We pray for the gift of that sacrificial loving modelled by our Lord and revealed in his own selfless loving on the cross. At our baptism we died and rose with Christ. We were clothed in Christ as a new creation, so as to bring our Christian dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven. Keeping vigil means preparing to be clothed again, this time with the ‘vesture of solidarity,’ the outward signs that demonstrate our yearning for deeper union with Christ; that show, spiritually and materially, our standing closely alongside the Church in the homeland of the Lord Jesus, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart.
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