Homilies by Archbishop Wilson & HE Cardinal Filoni: The Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

On Friday 25th and Saturday 26th November 2022, the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre hosted a Vigil Mass, and subsequently an Investiture Service and Holy Mass, in St George's Cathedral, during which new members of the Order were welcomed. The roots of the order date back to just after the first Crusade, when a tradition of ceremonially appointing Knights at the Holy Sepulchre developed.

Archbishop John Wilson, KC*HS, Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy of England and Wales, offered his sermon during the Vigil Mass on Friday 25th November, whilst the Grand Master of the Order, His Eminence Cardinal Filoni, gave his sermon on 26th November 2022. Both were given at St George's Cathedral and can be read in full here:

Homily by Archbishop John Wilson

Dear and beloved Cardinal Grand Master

Dear members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre

Dear brothers and sisters to be invested as Knights and Dames

Dear friends

Let me ask two very basic questions. What does it mean for us to keep vigil tonight? What does it mean to bless the robes and insignia of those to be invested as knights and dames tomorrow?

Putting it simply, I think it means this: we keep vigil in order to raise our hearts and minds in prayer to God our Almighty Father. We pray that our hearts might be so enlarged by God’s love that we might reach out towards the needs of others. We pray for the gift of that sacrificial loving modelled by our Lord and revealed in his own selfless loving on the cross. At our baptism we died and rose with Christ. We were clothed in Christ as a new creation, so as to bring our Christian dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven. Keeping vigil means preparing to be clothed again, this time with the ‘vesture of solidarity,’ the outward signs that demonstrate our yearning for deeper union with Christ; that show, spiritually and materially, our standing closely alongside the Church in the homeland of the Lord Jesus, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart.

Read more below:

Homily by Archbishop John Wilson - Vigil Mass

Homily by HE Cardinal Filoni

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today's ceremony completes the Rite of Investiture, which began last night with the solemn Prayer Vigil, and which sanctions the entry of new !<nights and Dames into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem through three rites: a) the imposition of the Cross on the shoulder of the new !<night and Dame, b) the Act of Blessing which accompanies the Celebrant's creative gesture, and c) the Conferring of the Cape by the I-leads of our Institution. This cape bears the insignia of our membership and constitutes our livery of honour: The empowered Cross of Jerusalem. These are · solemn moments that will remain indelible in your lives. Even in difficult days, remember the Church's predilection for you, for it is a true predilection to be received, as Members, into the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Feel its honour and beauty and always be worthy of it.

Read more below...

Homily by Cardinal HE Cardinal Filoni - Investiture and Holy Mass

Watch the Services:

Vigil Mass


Investiture and Holy Mass

View more images of the Vigil Mass  


Images courtesy of Marcin Mazur