THE Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England, will represent the Queen at a Solemn Requiem Mass for the late Holy Father to be sung in Westminster Cathedral this (Friday) morning by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop O'Hara, who will also preach.
The Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Mayor of London are to be represented at the Requiem, and among other distinguished people attending will be the C.1.G.S., General Sir Francis Festiog, and Lady Festing, Archbishop Mathew, Provincials of religious orders, religious superiors, and many priests from the archdiocese.
Today it is the turn of the nobles, the diplomats and the statesmen. But last Saturday it was the people of London—the "commoners" who, at short notice, turned up in their thousands to pay homage to "the layman's Pope". There were no reserved seats.
More than 6,000 crammed the great Cathedral whose soaring campanile is dedicated to a king and a man of peace. St. Edward the Confessor. They came to mourn another sovereign and another man of peace, Pope Pius XII.
The Requiem, whioh was broadcast and televised, was celebrated by Archbishop Godfrey of Westminster in the presence of Arch
bishop McCann of Cape Town, and Bishop Craven and Bishop Cashman, Auxiliaries of Westminster.
Quietly the Mass proceded in the brilliant light of the TV arc lamps. The voice of Fr. Patrick McEnroe softly commentating for the listening millions. Six tall candles flickered on either side of the catafalque. A small Papal tiara had been placed at the foot.
'I here was near-silence until the choir intoned the Dies !me on a note so plaintive as to be almost ethereal.
If possible, the silence in the nave deepened and I noticed the large number of children present and young people, the majority of whom could remember no Pope but Pius XII.
But there, too, were the older generations reflecting perhaps on similar Requiems for Pius XI, for Benedict XV, for St. Pius X, for Leo XIII, or even in some cases, Pius IX.
And many an eye strayed to the six large brass plates just inside the Cathedral doors—plates listing the Popes from Peter to Pius. Whose name would next be engraved thereon?