Cathedral invites mourners to say goodbye

Christ Church Cathedral will be open all day on Saturday 31 October to allow people to commemorate the people they mourn.

Many people have been deprived of the chance to say a proper goodbye to people who have died as a result of this year’s pandemic restrictions. Visits to hospitals and care homes have been curbed in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, and Government regulations have also limited the numbers allowed to attend funerals.

The Cathedral is offering A Chance to Say Goodbye on Saturday 31 October when people are invited to drop into the Cathedral at any time between 10am and 4pm to light a candle in memory of anyone they mourn.

There will be short prayers read on the hour. In the evening, there will be three separate livestreamed ceremonies to remember the dead.

At 7pm there will be an Interfaith Act of Remembrance. At 7.30pm the names of those who have died will be read out, with accompanying photographs. And at 8pm there will be a Sung Requiem with contemporary saxophone music.

A Chance to Say Goodbye is timed around the Feast of All Souls which falls on 2 November.

‘This hard year has been made harder by not being able to meet together and mourn those who have died in the way we want to,’ says the Revd Philippa White, Succentor of Christ Church Cathedral.

‘At this remembrance time of year, we want to offer the Cathedral as a place to mourn: to come, light a candle, sit for a while and rest in the stillness of this ancient building, remembering those you love before God in this holy place.

‘Or to come virtually: to light an online candle, or to send us the names of your loved ones to be read in a ceremony of remembrance. May God meet you in your grief, surround you with his love, and show you his tender mercy.'

If you would like someone remembered in the service, email their name and a digital photograph if you wish to cathedral@chch.ox.ac.uk. To light a virtual candle and for more information, see www.chch.ox.ac.uk/goodbye

Entry on the day is via Tom Gate. Please follow the directions of our staff to ensure Covid-risk reduction. All arrangements subject to changing local conditions.