RC Diocese of Aberdeen

St Magnus’ Pilgrimage – A Pilgrims Diary: Sunday – Celebration of Holy Mass

St Magnus’ Pilgrimage – A Pilgrims Diary: Sunday – Celebration of Holy Mass

The weekend and pilgrimage concluded with the celebration of Mass in St Magnus’ Cathedral, the final resting place of St Magnus’ remains. This joyous Mass was celebrated by clergy from all over Scotland, the UK and Scandinavia, including three Archbishops and nine Bishops.

Sabrina Maguire reflects:

Personally, the highlight of the whole weekend was the Mass at St Magnus’ Cathedral. Inside this historic and beautiful Cathedral, pilgrims filled the pews; those attending from far and near; including some of the leading figures in Orkney. Mass began with a mass procession of Clergy, Religious and members of the Diocese. From the moment the first hymn began to the very end of the Mass, each voice joining together into a incredible and powerful sound, filling every space with prayer and singing. Bishop Hugh joyously welcomed the congregation remarking on how wonderful the weekend had been, including the weather. Archbishop Leo Cushley was the main celebrant with Bishop Hugh giving the sermon.  Based on ‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.’, Bishop Hugh’s sermon compared this biblical reading with St Magnus’ life and death – a very fitting comparison. Archbishop Leo Cushley concluded the Mass by reminding us that the remains of St Magnus were present just beside the altar and suggested to take a minute to visit them before we return to everyday life, a personal end to our pilgrimage.  After the great recessional, the clergy gathered outside for a historic photo and then they spent time talking to pilgrims and fascinated tourists.

A unique weekend to celebrate one simple but special man – St Magnus.

James Coll adds:

Mass at the cathedral was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Orkney, the Provost and his wife, and several Orkney Councillors. The clergy came on in procession and mass was celebrated by Archbishop Cushley, accompanied by Archbishops Tartaglia and Conti. All the bishops of Scotland were present. The magnificent music for this historic occasion was provided by Heather Rendall, the cathedral organist, and The Aberdeen Diocesan Choir.


Sancta Familia Media also attended the Mass and produced a brilliant video capturing the service.