We are privileged to be here this evening, not simply to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but to do so accompanied by the fine music of the English recusant composer William Byrd and in this striking and beautiful church. Byrd himself knew, through his own experience, the precious value of the Most Holy Eucharist. His three settings of the Ordinary of the Mass, for three, four, and five voices, are stark works for individual voices designed to be sung in clandestine gatherings of the Catholic faithful during a dark period of English history. Members of his family were fined for their refusal to attend Protestant worship and many of his compositions draw parallels between the struggles of the Catholic remnant in Protestant England and the People of Israel in captivity and bondage, desperate for the safety of the Promised Land; a land where they might worship the Lord God unhindered. He lived, too, surrounded by the courageous witness of many for the faith. The sacrifice of thousands of men and women for the Catholic faith is as much a harrowing reminder of the potential cost of our baptismal promises, as it is an inspiration for us that, if we are faithful, the reward of abiding in the Lord’s eternal presence is real. As we honour those martyrs of the faith, together with countless other men and women whose lives have been lived in faithful obedience to Christ, we are reminded of the great gift of the Eucharistic sacrifice that sustained them, and we come to offer that supreme act of worship once more here and now as we plead the intercession of those who rejoice to enjoy the beatific vision.