Page 1, 15th July 1938

15th July 1938
Page 1
Page 1, 15th July 1938 — Distinguished English Delegation

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.


Organisations: Good Organisation
Locations: London


Related articles

Inauguration Of Rheims Cathedral English Catholics Will...

Page 7 from 18th February 1938

P Ris Is Ready For Her Royal

Page 16 from 8th July 1938

Unique Paris Ceremonies

Page 1 from 9th March 1945

Catholic Information From Abroad

Page 6 from 30th May 1947

I A French Lenten Pastoral

Page 6 from 12th March 1948

Distinguished English Delegation

Chief Justice Of England Hands Over St. Joan Of Arc's Banner


The English delegation, which included Cardinal Hinsley, Archbishop of Westminster, was given a place of honour in the Cathedral.

With little time to spare Cardinal Hinsley had rushed from Westminster where he had ordained 45 priests on Saturday.

Before leaving London for Rheims, the Cardinal said : " The inauguration of the restored Cathedral . . . will be a protest against the vandalism of war, and an appeal for world peace. It will be an assertion of the undying spirit of Catholic France."

Lord Hewart, Lord Chief Justice of England, handed to Cardinal Suhard a copy of the standard carried by St. Joan of Arc in the same Cathedral 500 years ago.

Seven Cardinals headed an unparalleled gathering of notables and dignitaries, ecclesiastical, civil, and military. Favourites of the crowd were Marshal Petain and Marshal Gouraud.

The Pope sent a telegram of congratulations and good wishes, and his blessing for F rance, " the eldest daughter of the Church."

From Our Special Correspondent RHEIMS.

• The Cathedral was early thrown open to those members of the public who were privileged to be present and by nine o'clock when the British delegation entered, the great nave was already well-filled and banks of faces could be seen through the arches of the Choir. Then Gounod's prelude from the Mass in memory of Joan of Arc began to fill the Cathedral with its stirring

music. The great organ, trumpets and trombones were used for this part of the ceremony and as it went on the clergy began to enter.

Apparently Never-Ending Line

No one who did not witness it can easily picture this apparently never-ending line of secular clergy merging into the multi-coloured ranks of the various orders, the compact little body of abbots and the 50 archbishops and bishops. Somehow, so vast is the Cathedral, this great body disappeared into the spaces and gradually came to rest in the Choir. Then came the stately procession of Cardinals, seven of them, in the glory of their vermilion.

Cardinal Hinsley, who had arrived the night before, and Cardinal Gerlier, wellknown to visitors to Lourdes, led the way. These, too, took their places in the Choir on the Epistle side and shortly afterwards came the ministers of the Mass, followed by Cardinal Suhard, CardinalLegate for the occasion. Last of all came President Lebrun to his seat in the Choir on a raised dais, a little to the right of the archcpiscopal throne where Cardinal Suhard awaited him.

Good Organisation

The ceremony began at once. It was just nine-thirty, the official time for the beginning, a not unimpressive witness to French powers of organisation. The Cardinal rose at once and began his address, reading from a manuscript.

But here came the one lapse in organisation; for the speech was almost inaudible. A second microphone was brought up and it was possible to gather that his eminence was emphasising the reconciliatory spirit of the day of rejoicing.

" Most Moving was the Credo " The Mass began on the conclusion of the address and no-one who was present will easily forget it: the two organs, the trumpets and the 400 trained voices of the Choir gave the Mass for two Choirs most impressively. It was difficult to think one had ever heard trumpets used in such a contest so lovely did they sound on this occasion. The Kyrie and Gloria were beautifully sung; but most moving of all was the Credo, to its old setting in the Royal Mass, sung by all the clergy as well as the Choirs.

It was a votive Mass of the Immaculate Conception and the proper was the Gregorian setting. The Mass moved through its stately course. The Sanctus came and the Consecration; the Agnus Dei and the Benedictus. And at length the Domine Salvam feu rempublicam was sung, to be followed by the Pontifical and, afterwards, the Papal Benedictions. It seemed to be over all too soon for so memorable a ceremony. The President left and soon the Cathedral began to empty.

• After the Mass

The cavalry and infantry who lined the square and had held all its approaches from an early hour, presented arms as the notable visitors left, and overhead the aeroplanes roared. The crowds greeted their well-known favourites, Marshals Petain and Gouraud, and the English delegation was well-received.

Among them were Lords Mowbray and Stanton, Tredegar, Semphill (in kilts) and Clonmore; Capt. McEwen, M.P., Messrs. Victor Raikes, M.P., Grant Ferris, M.P., Loftus, M.P., Commander Bower, M.P., Sir Denison Ross and Sir Charles Petrie.

One pleasant feature of the Cathedral ceremony was the entrance of a page bearing a copy of Joan of Arc's banner, with his accompanying pages. These took their places inside the Choir. The British ielegation were accommodated in the first

blog comments powered by Disqus