On Easter Monday we celebrated the centenary of the Easter Monday Men's Mass, first held in 1919.

It is believed that the first Easter Monday Men’s Mass took place in St. Chad’s Cathedral, in Birmingham in 1919. It was requested by the men of the city in order that their family members, school companions, workmates and friends who had died during the First World War could be remembered in prayer.

Easter Monday seemed an appropriate day as most would be on holiday from work; and 9am was the Mass time to enable the observance of the Eucharistic fast (from midnight) without too much inconvenience.

We don’t really know whether it was originally intended to be an annual event, but soon it became an established part of the Diocesan life in the city. Men from many parishes came together, and it became almost a re-union as news was exchanged, and friendships renewed year by year. [Click here to read more on the Easter Monday Men's Mass]

Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrated the Mass, giving a homily reflecting on the Mens' Mass, the strong multi faith community in Birmingham and on the Cathedral building itself, in light of the recent fire at Notre Dame in Paris.

He "Today we celebrate the centenary of the Easter Monday Men’s Mass. It is always a special occasion and unique to our Archdiocese.

"We know it has its roots in a moment of controversy, at a time when there was still much misunderstanding and suspicion dividing the different Christians communities in England and Wales. But it has long since become a positive witness to our faith in the real presence of the risen Christ among us. 

[Read full homily here]

Photo gallery

Mens Mass 2019

Photos by Peter Harrington