Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 9th September, 4pm

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.




Sunday, 10 May 2009

Pope Benedict Attends Vespers at Melkite Greek Catholic Cathedral of Saint George, Amman, Jordan

Pope Benedict on Saturday said that the ancient living treasure of the traditions of the Eastern Churches enriches the universal Church and could never be understood simply as objects to be passively preserved. The Pope was speaking at the Greek Melkite Cathedral of St. George in Amman, Jordan.

Speaking during Vespers, which included representatives of the Melkite, Maronite, Syrian, Armenian, Chaldean, as well as Latin Churches, The Pope said Particular Churches within the universal Church attest to the dynamism of her earthly journey and manifest to all members of the faithful a treasure of spiritual, liturgical, and ecclesiastical traditions which point to Gods universal goodness.

The title above leads to a recording of the Vespers and Patriarch Gregorios' welcome address. Here is the link to the file showing the orders of service of all the Papal Celebrations during the visit to the Holy Land. The Melkite Vespers is on page 29. There has been some controversy about the rites chosen for the Papal Celebrations, especially as most of the Catholic faithful in Jordan and the Holy Land belong not to the Latin but to the Byzantine Rite of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Furthermore there were complaints from Archbishop Elias Chacour of Galilee as the Papal Visit approached earlier in the year that Vatican officials had taken charge of the arrangement of the liturgies with little consultation among local Catholic Churches, rearranging and abbreviating Byzantine celebrations and showing a preference at the principal celebrations for using the minority Latin rite. Arguably, however, adaptations and abbreviations of the Byzantine services are not unknown and broadly the Vespers follow the familiar pattern. And forasmuch as it is important for the Christian West, significantly the Latin rite, to respect Eastern Tradition and to receive and learn from it, it is no less a matter of 'spiritual and receptive ecumenism' for the Eastern Catholic Churches to receive from the West. Perhaps this also meant that in a spirit of hospitality and generosity the Eastern Catholic community, rejoicing to see Peter's Successor among them, was more than content to see the Holy Father celebrate and lead the worship of the whole Catholic community in the rite with which he himself was most familiar and at ease. Yet the 'worship song' with organ accompaniment, doubtless embedded in local popular liturgical affection, sounded strange.

All the films of the Holy Father's visit to the Holy Land can be seen here on Benedict XVI TV.


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