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, 5 May 2014

Death and Concepts of the Afterlife, Orthodox and Catholic | Symposium

Our member and occasional guest contributor, Fr James Siemens of the Ukrainian Catholic parish in Cardiff, Wales, and also director of the Theotokos Institute, has written the following piece on his blog, Symposium. We give the introduction and invite you to read the article in full on his website:

I promised to write this piece for a group of students who paid a visit to my parish back before Pascha, in response to some very good questions about our understanding of the afterlife as reflected in the architecture.

There are different ways of describing what happens after death according to both Orthodox and Catholics. The Orthodox take issue, of course, with the idea of what Roman (of Latin) Catholics call ‘purgatory’, presumably on the basis that it takes on too geographical a sense, and suggests that those who go to purgatory are there in order to atone for sins committed in life in punitive, as opposed to purifying, terms. Well, I am sure I am not alone among theologians in seeing that the conflict between the two points of view lies more in their description and historic characterisation as opposed to something substantial. By way of illustrating this, then, I will try to set out an analogy for what happens after death that, I hope, will hardly raise a brow in either tradition.

To this end, we must begin with two propositions: 1) that God can be envisaged as an all-consuming fire – something like the sun, and 2) that the purpose of life is to be united with God and so to be purified – that is, to become more and more like Him – as we move in His direction over the course of our lives. Once we have accepted these two propositions, then we can turn our attention to where life begins, and follow it to its end.

Read on here:

Death and Concepts of the Afterlife, Orthodox and Catholic | Symposium
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