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 10th June, 4pm

SSJC Committee Open Meeting: Monday 19th June, Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 Liturgy, Talk at 7-15, followed by meeting.

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.













Saturday, 1 August 2009

The Re-founding of the Society in 1926

The Society of St. John Chrysostom was originally founded in England at the end of the nineteenth century. The original association died out and was re-founded in 1926 under the patronage of the Archbishop of Westminster. In two of its 1926 issues, the journal Irénikon reported the following:

"On Wednesday, 31 March 1926, in the shadow of Westminster Cathedral, the inaugural meeting of the Society of Saint John Chrysostom was held under the presidency of His Eminence Cardinal Bourne. This society seeks to learn about the problems that exist between the Catholic Church and those Christians of the East who are not in communion with the Holy See, while avoiding all polemics."

"The new Society of Saint John Chrysostom, of which we spoke in our May issue (p. 119) has organized, for the end of this month, a series of conferences which will conclude with a solemn Slavonic Liturgy, celebrated in the great Cathedral of Westminster. His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, President of the Society, will open the week on the evening of the 26th in his cathedral Hall, and His Lordship Msgr. d’Herbigny will speak about the Oriental Institute in Rome of which he is president. Three days of lectures will follow, over the course of which we note the following conferences: Mr. Herbert Ward will speak on the state of the Church in Mesopotamia; Dom Lambert Beauduin on the “the appeal of the Christian East and monastic hopes”; Count Bennisen and Prince Volkonsky on iconography and Russian music respectively; Miss Gertrude Morrison on Greek monasticism in southern Italy. After an explanation of the Liturgy, on the evening of the 29th by Rev. Fr. David Balfour, Monk of Unity [ed: between Latin and Byzantine Rites, a member of the monastery founded by Dom Lambert Beauduin at Amay-sur-Meuse and now at Chevetogne in Belgium], the Congress will conclude on the morning of the 30th with what promises to be a splendid celebration. In the famous Westminster Cathedral, a large iconostasis will be erected in harmony with the cathedral’s own Byzantine style architecture; Rev. Fr. Abrikosoff from Rome will sing the Divine Liturgy (preceded by Tierce) with Rev. Fr. Omez of Lille Seminary and Dom Andrew Stoelen of Amay concelebrating. The slavonic chants will be performed by the cathedral choir, which is renowned in the London musical world, under the direction of a Russian musician. The committee of the Society, which includes several eminent Catholics such as Doctors Myers and Vance, the Right Reverend Dom Butler, O.S.B., Rev. Frs. Martindale, S.J. and Vassall-Phillips, C.S.S.R., has invited European Catholics to this Congress who are involved with the work church unity, including six Monks of Unity."

Father Peter Galadza of Sheptytsky Institute reports this information in footnote 286, pages 133-134 of his important new book Unité en Division: Les Lettres de Lev Gillet, (“un moine de l’église d’Orient”) à Andrei Cheptytsky – 1921-1929. The note also claims that “The Society continued to exist in England until 1989 and published a journal beginning in 1960.” Au contraire, we are happy to report that rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

The picture shows a more recent event in Westminster Cathedral arranged by the diocese and the Society in 2002: Lenten Orthodox Great Vespers, celebrated by the then Bishop Basil (Osborne) of Sergievo of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh in the UK, in the presence of HE Cormac Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster and his fellow Catholic Bishops, His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, the Syriac Orthodox and Armenian Bishops in London and other hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Eastern Churches, with many Latin Catholic and other Western Christians too. The choir of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Mayfair sang the Vespers and the service was attended by almost 1,500 people.
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