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.

"It's Now or Never: The Return of the Eastern Christians to Iraq and Syria" - John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need gives the annual Christopher Morris Lecture in the Society's 90th year. Monday 27th November at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 pm Divine Liturgy, 7-15 pm Lecture, 8-15 pm Reception. £10 donation requested. RSVP to johnchrysostom@btinternet.com







Thursday, 30 January 2014

Inside the Armenian Island of Jerusalem - Terrasanta.net

Chiara Cruciati writes:

After going through the door of the Armenian Convent, a world in itself opens up before the eyes of the lucky visitor. It is a place apart, separate from the rest of the chaotic old city of Jerusalem, the tranquillity of which has been preserved for centuries by the small community that lives there.
The Armenian quarter, an integral part of the old city of Jerusalem, has a secret heart. Around the streets and alleys the tourists go down and which from the Jaffa Gate lead to the Esplanade of the Mosques, there stands the Convent, a city within the city and inaccessible to tourists and outsiders.
We enter accompanied by a young Armenian, Apo Sahagian: the only way to visit the small enclave is to be guided by one of the thousand residents. At the entrance, two tourists are stopped by one of the guards: entry is prohibited.

In the early hours of the afternoon, the quarter is quiet, there are very few people walking in the two small squares and alleys of the Convent, only a few priests dressed in black. It is Saturday, the Mass in the Cathedral of St. James is about to start. We enter: about ten religious have begin the ceremony. At the centre of the church a chair is waiting for the Patriarch, who enters amongst the faithful after a few minutes.

“The church of St. James represents the beginning and the end for us,” Apo, a 23-year-old musician and short story writer, explains to us. “We are baptized here and our funeral is held here. The life of a Jerusalem Armenian begins and ends in this church.”

We continue our visit: around the main square – “our Tahrir Square,” Apo calls it, there are two bookshops, the old printing press and a clinic. A little before that the Post Office and a little further on the museum. All the buildings are in cream stone, like the rest of the old city. The balconies and the stairs are coloured with vases of flowers of cacti. This land is owned by the Patriarchate which has run the Armenian Quarter since the time of the Crusades. When Armenian migration towards Palestine started: “Each of us has a house, we can do everything to it except sell it,” our guide explains.

Selling the property, especially  to non-Armenians, is considered inadmissible. The community present on this tiny piece of land for centuries, is still at the grips with a voluntary non-integration: a minority between two peoples in conflict. Behind this there is the need to keep their identity alive, to protect their roots and not lose the connections with other Armenian communities, spread through the rest of the Arab world.

The choice of the thousand Armenians who live in Jerusalem, within the walls of the Old City, is symbolized by the closed quarter in which they live. Inside they have everything they need to lead an autonomous existence and without external interference.

Read the full article here:
Inside the Armenian Island of Jerusalem- Terrasanta.net
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