Today we would have been hosting our Archbishop, John Wilson, as main celebrant for the Mass of Translation of St Thomas of Canterbury in the Quire of Canterbury Cathedral. Because of the pandemic all celebrations have been cancelled this year which is the 850 anniversary of martyrdom to Thomas Becket and 800 anniversary of his body being moved from the crypt to the new shrine in the Trinity chapel. Bishops from all over Europe were in attendance at this special event presided over by Archbishop Stephen Langton, in the presence of the teenage Henry III and great crowds of people.
St Thomas’ new shrine was in the most prominent position in the cathedral, behind the high altar; this candle now marks the site of the shrine, which was destroyed at the Reformation: There is a new resource that will give you information and background not only on St Thomas but but also what the shrine looked like.
O God, who gave to your Bishop Saint Thomas
the grace to lay aside all earthly fear
and be faithful even unto death,
grant, we pray, at his intercession
that your people disregarding worldly esteem
may resist what is wrong, uphold your rule
and serve you to their life’s end.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.