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 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

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.

Monday, 10 February 2014

On the Sacrament of Confirmation | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Here is the translation, thanks to ZENIT, of the Holy Father’s continuing catecheses on the Sacraments during his weekly General Audience today in St. Peter’s Square.

It is a good example of the not infrequent occasions when, in fact, the Pope speaks as primate of the Latin Church rather than as pastor of the universal Church with a care for all the Churches, including the Byzantine, Syrian and Alexandrian churches in communion with the see of Peter at Rome.

In the Vatican's Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms for Ecumenism, it is stated and provided that respect and recognition - in churches, schools and other spheres - must be shown to Eastern Christians who not only receive this sacrament in their Chrismation at Baptism but also receive Holy Communion for the first time (to the West: "make their first Holy Communion") at the same point.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good Morning!

In this third catechesis on the Sacraments, we will reflect on Confirmation or Cresima, which is understood in continuity with Baptism, to which it is connected in an inseparable way. These two Sacraments, together with the Eucharist, make up one salvific event -- “Christian initiation” --, with which we are inserted in Jesus Christ dead and risen and become new creatures and members of the Church. This is why originally these three Sacraments were celebrated at the same time, at the end of the catechumenal journey, normally during the Easter Vigil. Thus the course of formation was sealed and a gradual insertion in the Christian community, which could last even several years. It was done step by step to arrive at Baptism, then to Confirmation and the Eucharist.

Ordinarily one speaks of the Sacrament of “Cresima,” a word which means “anointing.” And, in fact, through the oil called “sacred Chrism” we are conformed, in the power of the Spirit, to Jesus Christ, who is the only true “Anointed One,” the “Messiah,” the Holy One of God. The term “Confirmation,” therefore, reminds us that this Sacrament brings a growth of Baptismal grace: it unites us more firmly to Christ; it brings to fulfillment our bond with the Church; it gives us the special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith, to confess the name of Christ and never to be ashamed of His cross (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1303).

For this reason it is important to care that our children, our young one have this sacrament. We all must take care that they be baptized: and this is good, but perhaps we don’t care so much if they receive Confirmation: they remain half-way and do not receive the Holy Spirit,  which is very important in Christian life, because it gives us the strength to go forward!

Let us think, each one of us: do we, truly care that our children and our young ones receive Confirmation? This is important, it is important! And if you have children in your home, young ones who have not received it yet and are of age to receive it, do everything possible to bring to fulfillment this Christian initiation and that they may receive the strength of the Holy Spirit. It is important!

Of course it is important to give the candidates for Confirmation a good preparation, which must seek to lead them to personal adherence to faith in Christ and to awaken in them the sense of belonging to the Church.

Confirmation, like every Sacrament,  is not the work of men but of God, who takes care of our life in order to mold us to the image of His Son, to make us capable of loving like Him. He does so by infusing in us His Holy Spirit, whose action pervades the whole person and the whole of life, as shining through the seven gifts that Tradition, in the light of Holy Scripture, has always evidenced. These seven gifts: I do not wish to ask you if you remember the seven gifts. Maybe you all do...But I will say them in your name. What are these gifts? Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of God. And these gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation.  I intend to dedicate to these gifts the catecheses that will follow those of the Sacraments.

When we receive the Holy Spirit in our heart and allow Him to act, Christ Himself makes Himself present in us and molds our life. Through us, it will be He who prays, who forgives, who infuses hope and consolation, who serves brethren, who makes Himself close to the needy and the least, who creates communion, who sows peace. Think of how important this is: through the Holy Spirit, Christ Himself comes to do all this in our midst for us. For this reason it is important that children and young ones receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Dear brothers and sisters let us remind ourselves that we have received Confirmation! All of us! Let us remember it first of all to thank the Lord for this gift, and then to ask Him to help us to live as true Christians, to walk always with joy according to the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Read more online here:
On the Sacrament of Confirmation | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome
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