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What is Bradford Cathedral here for?
People come to the Cathedral for many reasons. It may be as visitors to a beautiful building, or as pilgrims to meet with God. For some it is familiar; for others it may seem strange.
What happens here?
Most of us recognise that there is more to life than the everyday things around us. We look for some purpose in life. We look for love and beauty and values which will give our lives meaning. We hope that we will be remembered after we die.
Worship takes up these feelings and offers them to God.
In worship we express our trust in the God who was shown to us by Jesus. He taught us to call God ‘our Father’, and invited us to share our lives with God.
Doing The Work of God
At the heart of the Cathedral is the commitment to daily worship. Worship is offered on behalf of everyone, not only those who take part. It is a form of work, of ‘service’, and was called by the medieval monks opus dei, ‘the work of God’.
How do we worship today in Bradford Cathedral?
For over a thousand years, Christians have worshipped God on the site of the cathedral. They have used the psalms, the ancient hymns of the Jewish people, from the Bible. Saying or singing the psalms has always been a central feature of daily worship, as well as songs, hymns and Bible readings.
Morning Prayer is said in the Lady Chapel by the Cathedral clergy (and anyone else who comes) at 8.00am each day, normally using the modern forms from the Church of England’s Common Worship Book 2000.
The service at the heart of Christian worship is that of Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist (which means ‘thanksgiving’), or the Mass.
On the night before he died, Jesus had a special supper with his followers when he gave them bread to eat and wine to drink, saying: ‘This is my body - this is my blood - do this in memory of me.’ The next day, now remembered as Good Friday, he was put to death on the cross. On the following Sunday he rose from the dead. In Holy Communion we remember these events in obedience to Jesus’ command.
Eating together is an important human activity. We celebrate special times with special meals. Eating with someone brings you closer to them: you have food ‘in common’, you are ‘in communion’ with them. Also, the food and drink becomes a part of you and gives you strength.
Come and Worship
Everyone is welcome to come to worship.
You are welcome to join us for Holy Communion, and take the bread and wine if you are a communicant in a Christian church. If you do not take communion, you are welcome to come to the altar rail for a blessing by the priest - simply kneel but do not hold out your hands. Being part of a communion service links you with the life of Jesus and his friends over almost two thousand years of history.
If you come to worship, you will be joining in a tradition of worship which has taken place here for over a thousand years - give or take a few interruptions due to invaders and civil war!
Other Features of Worship
The robes worn by clergy and choir are descended from the clothes worn in very early times, and link our worship to past tradition. To wear distinctive clothes also shows that the ministers are there to serve God and others, and have a particular role to play - in the same way that policemen and others wear uniform.
The life of the Cathedral
As well as being a focus of worship, the Cathedral is also the seat of the Bishop of the Church of England in Bradford: his Diocese stretches west and north to Lancashire and southern Cumbria. It can be a busy place. People want to hold special services; there are concerts, events and group visits. We like to be welcoming and try to accommodate as many requests as possible. We apologise if this restricts your visit here, or if the Cathedral is not as quiet as you would like.
To share God’s love with others in worship, prayer and service.May the blessing of God go with you!