150th anniversary of Saint Mary's Cathedral, Aberdeen
The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption, Aberdeen, celebrates its 150th anniversary on Tuesday 5th October 2010 with a solemn Mass at 6.30 p.m.
As well as Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Archbishop Mario Conti, most of the bishops of Scotland, distinguished guests will include Bishop Gerhard Ludwig MÃ¼ller of Regensburg in Germany, which is twinned with Aberdeen, and Monsignor Brian Udaigwe, ChargÃ© d Affaires at the Nunciature in London, representing the Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz MuÃ±oz, who is recovering from illness.
Also invited are church leaders from other denominations and civic representatives including the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, The Hon. Peter Stephen.
Commenting on the anniversary, Bishop Peter Moran of Aberdeen said;
"The 150th anniversary of the Cathedral is a milestone not only for the building itself but for the entire diocese of Aberdeen. Members of every parish have been invited to share this joyful and historic occasion. I am delighted to welcome my fellow Scottish bishops, especially my predecessor in Aberdeen, now the Archbishop of Glasgow, Archbishop Mario Conti and our ecumenical guests."
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Notes to Editors:
1. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to the Cathedral, Huntly Street, Aberdeen at 6.30pm on Tuesday 5 October.
2. Aberdeen boasts three cathedrals: the ancient cathedral of Saint Machar by the River Don in the northern suburbs of the city (now a parish church of the Church of Scotland), the Scottish Episcopal cathedral of Saint Andrew in King Street, and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mary close to Union Street, the city s main thoroughfare.
3. When St Mary s was built in 1860, it was not at first a cathedral. It became one only when the Diocese of Aberdeen was re-established, and a diocesan bishop appointed, at the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1878.
At one time in the 19th century it was anticipated that the future cathedral would be Saint Peter s church in Buckie, whose twins spires are a mariners mark from seaward and were sometimes known as the twa horns o the deil .
St Mary s in Aberdeen was planned as an improved and larger successor to St Peter s in the Castlegate, opened seventy-eight years earlier in 1782, and itself the successor of an attic chapel in the Gallowgate dating from 1749.
The interior of St Mary s, originally almost unadorned, was enriched with ornamental detail by Dean Stopani in the 1880 s and 90 s, but was radically transformed in the 1960 s in line with liturgical changes linked to the Second Vatican Council. The organ was built in 1887. Dean Stopani also installed in the steeple the peal of nine bells, increased to fourteen to mark the second millennium.
The adjacent Cathedral Rooms, recently expanded to provide a spacious hall, had a special role during the Second World War as a centre for thousands of members of the Armed Forces. The Cathedral is also a parish church but its worshipping congregation, drawn more widely from all across the city, is nowadays visibly international.
4. A cathedral is essentially the chief church of a diocese, where the bishop has his cathedra or presiding chair. The Diocese of Aberdeen extends westward to Ullapool and Cape Wrath and northward to include Orkney and Shetland.