- Reform, rebuild and renew
On Thursday Pope Francis will have completed a year as Bishop of Rome, a year in which he has begun to transform the Church. But be in no doubt, argues our Rome correspondent, of just how wide and how deep go his aims for change
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Spending Christmas away with friends and family, we attended Midnight Mass at a Scottish Episcopal church. The service started at 11pm, with the usual Old Testament readings and carols, then we sang the first three verses of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" before the main Eucharistic Service began.
What blew me away was the elevation, timed to be spot on midnight, when we sang the final verse “Yea, Lord, we greet Thee … Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing … O come let us adore him” while the celebrant held the host aloft the whole time. It was immensely powerful and moving and, though we did attend the local Catholic Mass next day, it was this beautiful encounter with Christ which has remained with me ever since.
Pat Blackledge, Yeadon, Leeds