Anglican and Catholic leaders to mark reinterment of Richard III

Posted by ap507 at Sep 08, 2014 11:55 AM |
Anglican Diocese of Leicester and Catholic Diocese of Nottingham to work closely together for reinterment of last Plantagenet King

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury will both be taking part in services in Leicester Cathedral to mark the reinterment of King Richard III, who will be laid to rest during a week of events between 22 - 28 March 2015.

Since the discovery of the body of Richard III in 2012 by University experts, the Anglican Diocese of Leicester and the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham have worked closely to ensure that his reinterment in Leicester Cathedral, the medieval parish church of Leicester, will be celebrated with dignity and prayer.

Following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the body of Richard III was buried near the altar of the Grey Friars church in Leicester. Although the church was destroyed during the Reformation, the last Plantagenet Monarch lay there in peace until the excavations that led to the exhumation of his body in 2012.

Both Dioceses are working together with other stakeholders to organise various acts of worship during the week in which Richard III’s mortal remains will be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral. The major liturgies, or services, will be as follows:

  • The remains of Richard III will be received into Leicester Cathedral on Sunday 22 March 2015; an invited congregation will pray a service of Compline where Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, will preach.
  • On Monday 23 March, Cardinal Nichols will celebrate Mass for the repose of the soul (a ‘Requiem Mass’) of Richard III in Holy Cross Church, the Catholic parish church and Dominican priory in Leicester city centre. The Choir from St Barnabas’ Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Diocese of Nottingham, will sing at this Mass, which will be open to the public.
  • On Thursday 26 March, the mortal remains of Richard III will be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral, with an invited congregation and in the presence of the Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and senior clergy from both dioceses, and other Christian denominations alongside representatives of the World Faiths.
  • On Friday 27 March, invited people from across the city of Leicester and the county of Leicestershire will gather in the Cathedral to mark the end of King Richard’s journey and the sealed tomb will be revealed to the public.

Further information about each service will be released in due course. In addition, the Cathedral will be open for people to visit, to pay their respects and to pray from 23-25 March, and from Saturday 28 March the area around Richard III’s tomb will be open to the public.

The reinterment of Richard III is a historic event in the life of the University and city of Leicester all involved parties will continue to work together ecumenically to ensure that his life is commemorated and his body reinterred with due honour.