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Cardinal to preach at cathedral in front of remains of Richard III

Richard III

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster is to take part in services marking the reinterment of Richard III at Leicester’s Anglican cathedral in March next year.

The cardinal will preach at a service of compline on the day the king’s remains are received into the cathedral and will celebrate a Requiem Mass the next day at a nearby Catholic parish.

Dominican friars will also sing vespers at the cathedral in the run-up to the reinterment and Fr David Rocks OP, parish priest, will preach at a lunchtime Eucharist.

The schedule, as released by the Catholic Communications Network, is as follows:

Sunday, 22 March 2015
Leicester Cathedral
The remains of Richard III will be received into the cathedral and an invited congregation will pray a service of Compline where Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, will preach.

Monday, 23 March 2015
Holy Cross Church, Leicester
Cardinal Nichols will celebrate Mass for the repose of the soul – a ‘Requiem Mass’ – of Richard III in Holy Cross Church, the Catholic parish church and Dominican priory in Leicester city centre. The choir from St Barnabas’ Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Diocese of Nottingham, will sing at this Mass, which will be open to the public.

Thursday, 26 March 2015
Leicester Cathedral
The mortal remains of Richard III will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, with an invited congregation and in the presence of the Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and senior clergy from both dioceses, and other Christian denominations alongside representatives of the World Faiths.

Friday, 27 March 2015
Leicester Cathedral
Invited guests from across the city of Leicester and the county of Leicestershire will gather in the Cathedral to mark the end of King Richard’s journey and the sealed tomb will be revealed to the public.

In addition:

The regular pattern of morning and evening prayer and the Eucharist will be kept by Leicester Cathedral throughout these days as we prepare for the King’s reinterment. A number of these services will have a very special character. All these services will be open to the public.

On Tuesday 24 March the Dominican friars will sing Vespers, the Catholic Church’s evening service, in Leicester Cathedral; this is in addition to the daily celebration of Mass and the divine office in Holy Cross Church.

On Wednesday 25 March, Father David Rocks OP, the parish priest at Holy Cross Church, will preach at the lunchtime Eucharist in Leicester Cathedral.

Further information about each service will be released in due course. Leicester Cathedral will be open for people to visit, to pay their respects and to pray from 23-25 March, and from Saturday 28 March the area around Richard III’s tomb will be open to the public.

Cardinal Nichols said: “The death of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 was a decisive moment in English history. Following his death, Richard III was buried in the Franciscan Friary in Leicester, and his body lay in its grave until it was discovered in 2012. It is now fitting that his remains should be reinterred with dignity and accompanied by the prayers of the Church in Leicester Cathedral, the mediaeval parish church of Leicester. We commend all who have died to the love and mercy of Almighty God, and continue to pray for them, as we shall for Richard III and all who have lost their lives in battle.”