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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Monday, 29 July 2013
The reason for this malaise stems from ignorance, as well as a hierarchy of victimhood. Many assume that Christianity is a Western faith and therefore an import to the Middle East, rather than an export from it. The point is encapsulated by the anecdote about an American general who once asked an Arab Christian when his family had converted. “About 2,000 years ago,” came the wry answer. The plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt is especially tragic, long predating the worsening regional situation triggered by 9/11 and regime change in Iraq. Copts still form about 12 per cent of the population but used to be more numerous. To the consternation of Islamists who are in denial about the Middle East’s mixed religious ecology, the very word “Copt” derives from the Arabic Qibt, an abbreviation of Aigyptos, the Greek word for Egypt. Some members of this ancient Church have prospered. The ranks of well-known Egyptian Christians have included Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the former Secretary-General of the UN. Egypt’s legislative assembly has contained Coptic members since 1922. But 600,000 Egyptian Christians have emigrated over the past 30 years in the face of systematic discrimination and violence — including the regular bombing of churches by militants influenced by Saudi-derived extremist ideologies. The discrimination is less dramatic, but equally insidious. As an Egyptian-born doctor now based in Britain told me, “When I was at medical school Christian students were either passed or failed; not a single one was placed in the ‘Good’, ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ categories.” This meant that none would achieve a high-flying career.
A bad situation has become calamitous as Egypt has fallen into further instability. Numerous anti-Christian attacks, especially in Upper Egypt, have passed largely unreported in the West. Earlier this month, for example, a march by supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in the village of Dalga, near Minya, turned violent. Protesters attacked property belonging to the local Coptic church, St George’s; burnt down the priest’s house; and threw Molotov cocktails at Christian-run shops and businesses. St George’s itself was looted and torched. A nearby church was fired on. As often in the past, some Muslims rushed to the aid of their Christian neighbours. The authorities looked the other way.
Several days later a priest at Masaeed in northern Sinai, Fr Mina Abboud Shaoubim, was dragged from his car by militants and shot nine times. He later died of internal bleeding. Look on the English-language website of Watani, the Coptic newspaper, and you can read solid evidence about allied atrocities. Last week, Amnesty International released a dossier on other recent assaults on Egyptian Christians. In the worst instance an angry mob, armed with metal bars, knives and hammers, murdered four Coptic men and injured others in Nagah Hassan, 11 miles west of Luxor. More than 100 Christian homes were attacked: of these, scores were torched and looted. Local residents said they had called police and army hotlines throughout the day in vain.
For all its chronic problems, however, Egypt has not yet descended into civil war. It is Syria’s Christian community that is now staring into the abyss. Reliable information is hard to come by in the midst of a bloodbath. But the charity Aid to the Church in Need estimates that hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled their homes over the past two years, especially residents of Homs, Damascus and Aleppo. Priests including Fr Fadi Haddad, from the city of Qatana, have been kidnapped, tortured and murdered. Christians are vulnerable because the Assad regime, despite its many other crimes, has protected religious minorities.
For this reason church leaders, including Patriarch Gregory III of Antioch, have begged the outside world not to send in more weapons. Some observers predict a regional war with potentially catastrophic global consequences if Assad is replaced by a regime including Sunni radicals. If this happens, the indigenous Christian presence in the churches’ biblical heartlands may be eliminated. I feel proud to live in a city like London which has often (if sadly not always) shown hospitable instincts to Muslim immigrants, and which is now one of the world’s major Islamic centres. But many Muslim-majority countries — admittedly more tolerant than most European societies in earlier eras — are failing to return the compliment at present. Sometimes a senior cleric will speak out. The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Ali Gomaa, has regularly condemned Islamist terrorism. He might have added that the future peace of the world hinges in part on good Muslim-Christian relations. The heroism of countless Christians under fire around the world (by no means in Muslim-majority countries alone) is in many ways humbling. But their rights are being abused, and the double standard needs to be laid bare.
Rupert Shortt’s book Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack is published by Rider
Christians are in peril throughout the Muslim world - Comment - Comment - London Evening Standard
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Friday, 26 July 2013
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Sunday, 21 July 2013
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Monday, 15 July 2013
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
- The Fathers have not lost sight of the worrying spectre of the security situation prevalent in Syria, Lebanon and the whole region, and are especially pained by the violence that sows death and destruction here and there, causing damage to some of our eparchies. So they call on all parties, especially in Syria, to renounce violence and recourse to weapons, and put reconciliation and unselfish national interests above every personal or collective interest, urging the major countries involved in the Syrian crisis to stop the supply of arms and agree on a peaceful solution, allowing the restoration of peace, security and prosperity.
- The Fathers reported on the situation of their parishes, especially parishes in Syria, which are seriously damaged as a result of the level of bloody events that have been taking place in the country for more than two years now. And they resolved to lend a helping hand to help them cope with the different aspects of the crisis, and committed themselves to setting up for this purpose, "a solidarity committee to develop an action plan and contact sources of assistance.” The Fathers appealed to the international community and all competent individuals and institutions to lend a helping hand to displaced persons, who have attained the numbers of millions, many of whom are living in conditions lacking minimal limits of human dignity on more than one level.
- And in the face of the tragedy, the Fathers call on their children everywhere to pray for an end to this tragedy and crisis, in the certainty that prayer today is virtually the only weapon targeted at salvation. They also ask them to pray for those who have died, and for the return of abductees, especially Archbishop Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi, and monks Michael and Isaac, urging their liberation and that of other abductees.
- We add our voice to the voice of the Pope in his speech on 20 June at the 86th Plenary Assembly of the Reunion of Organisations for Aid to the Oriental Churches (ROACO): "I would like to once again, from the bottom of my heart, appeal to the leaders of nations and international organisations, to believers of every religion, and to all men and women of good will to put an end to all the pain, all the violence, and all religious, cultural, and social discrimination. May the conflict that sows death leave space for the encounter and the reconciliation that bring life. To all those who are suffering I strongly say: 'Never lose hope! The Church is with you, accompanies you, and supports you!' I ask you to do everything possible to alleviate the serious needs of the affected populations, especially in Syria, the people of beloved Syria, and the ever more numerous refugees and displaced persons. St. Ignatius of Antioch addresses the Christians in Rome, saying: "Remember in prayer at the Church of Syria... I repeat to you: remember in your prayers the Church of Syria … Jesus Christ will watch over it and your charity. I entrust the countless victims to the Lord of Life and implore the Most Holy Mother of God to console all of those in the 'time of great distress'. It is true; what's happening in Syria is a great distress!”
- In this regard however, the Fathers wished to state their personal, deep thanks to their brother bishops and their children in the expansion for their assistance, donated to their fellow bishops of our stricken eparchies in Syria, and to their children, displaced people, beseeching Christ the Giver of all, to recompense them many times over for their gifts.
- As far as Lebanon is concerned nowadays, the Fathers expressed their fear for democracy in this country, which has long exemplified the big advantage of democracy, especially in the Arab world. They called for the promulgation of a modern electoral law to establish equality among all citizens, taking into account the rights of everyone, and for speeding up the formation of the government in order to avoid a vacuum.
- The Fathers then studied amendments made by the Legal Committee to some items of particular law relating to the conduct of the Holy Synod and the ecclesial law courts, and made comments on these amendments, and then endorsed them.
- The Fathers also studied the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Middle East, “Communion and Witness,” and how to offer this guidance so that people in their eparchies and parishes can apply and live by the spirit expressed in it. They made the following recommendations on the subject:
i. To ensure distribution of the guidance to eparchies and parishes for detailed study.
ii. To hold a conference about the guidance involving bishops, priests, monks, nuns and lay-people.
iii. To encourage joint activities with fellow-citizens to consolidate bonds of love and co-operation, based on the principle of citizenship.
iv. To call to repentance, reformation and irreproachable witness at the level of individuals and institutions as a way to convince others honestly of evangelical values.
- The Fathers also heard a report on the Major Seminary of St. Anna from its Rector Archimandrite Naim Gharbi. The Fathers discussed it and expressed their observations on it and issued a recommendation for the introduction of the topic of "pastoral leadership" to be taught in seminaries.
- The Fathers elected a list of three candidates for the Eparchy of Argentina so that the Pope can appoint one of the candidates as bishop.
- The Fathers also elected Archbishop Elie Haddad President of the Patriarchal Appellate Tribunal, Archbishop George Haddad Chief judicial vicar and Archbishops Joseph Absi and George Bacouni Assistant judicial vicars in the Synodal Court, Archbishop Michael Abrass, promoter of justice and Archbishop Elie Haddad, a defender of the bond in the same Synodal Court.
- Finally, the Fathers expressed the firm hope that God willing, the black cloud will dissipate to reveal a new earth and a new heaven, and God will wipe every tear from our eyes because Jesus promised and his promise does not fail, that he will be with us to the end of the age.
Sunday, 7 July 2013
Saturday, 6 July 2013
Father John was a long-standing member of the Anglican & Eastern Churches’ Association both as an Anglican and as an Orthodox priest. He was a priest at the Orthodox church of St. Andrew, in Edinburgh, but also founded some Orthodox centres in Scotland. He was also chaplain to the Orthodox at Edinburgh University, and he died peacefully in the Scottish capital on 17th April 2013.
Father John studied Classics at Christ Church, Oxford, and theology at Cuddesdon College, and in 1950-51, as an Anglican, at the Greek Theological College of Halki in Istanbul. On his return to Scotland he was ordained in the Episcopal Church.
In 1981 he travelled to Mount Athos, having resigned his ministry in the Diocese of Moray, and was received into the Orthodox Church in the monastery of Simonopetra. He returned to London and served faithfully for 30 years in the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.
Father John had inherited a fortune, but he died virtually penniless as he gave so much away. No down-and–out or alcoholic was ever turned away from his home. Homeless tramps would be found sleeping on his sofa. He was tireless in his concern for victims of torture and persecuted Christians throughout the world. As his health, always poor, declined further and as he lost his sight he spent more and more time in prayer. He could be described as an Orthodox staretz.
May his memory be eternal !
The death occurred in London on 15th January 2013 of Princess Margarita of Yugoslavia, the widow of His Royal Highness Prince Tomislav, the middle brother of King Peter. She was the daughter-in-law of Queen Maria; niece of the Duke of Edinburgh and daughter of his sister Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark and the Margrave of Baden. She was born in Salem, Germany, on 14th July 1932, and moved to London in 1948 to train as a nurse at St.Thomas’ Hospital, where she was known as Nurse von Baden and after her marriage, and promotion, as Sister George. The Royal House of Yugoslavia being known as Karadjordevic- Black George.
Like many Lutheran princesses who married into Orthodox Royal families, Margarita converted to Orthodoxy and became a keen supporter of the Serbian Church not only in London, but also the church of St.Lazar in Bourneville, Birmingham. At her husband’s farm in Sussex she and Prince Tomislav held open house for the exiled Serbs.
Princess Margarita was a tireless worker for charitable causes and chaired the committee which oversaw the construction of the huge cathedral in Belgrade and the training of Serbian Theological students in England, thus building on the labours of Father Fynes-Clinton a generation earlier. For members of the Serbian community, who died and had no relations, she provided a charity to pay for their funerals. She was Vice-President of the Friends of the SS.Martha and Mary Convent in Bolshaya street, Moscow, founded by the Tzarina’s sister Grand Princess Elizabeth Feodrovna (St. Elizabeth of the New Martyrs of Russia) and played a significant role in its restoration. She also encouraged the work of Mother Mariam in Orthodox Georgia and the work of the icon painting school in Dobricevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
We offer our prayers and sympathy to her son Prince Nicholas and her daughter Princess Katerina, and the bereaved members of the Serbian Orthodox community, who have lost a dear sister and friend.
Her uncle the Duke of Edinburgh and the Crown Prince and Princess of Yugoslavia were present at her funeral at the Cathedral of St. Savva. She was laid to rest in Belgrade.
MAY SHE REST IN THE PEACE OF GOD! Vyecnaya Pamyat!
In 1961 Her Majesty Queen Maria of The Serbs, the Croats and the Slovenes, the widow of the assassinated King Alexander, daughter of Queen Marie of Romania and a great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, died in exile in England and was buried at Frogmore in Windsor Great Park. This spring the body of this Orthodox Queen was disinterred and taken for burial in the Royal Tombs in Belgrade, in the presence of her Majesty’s grandson Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, the Orthodox Kings of Bulgaria and Greece and her grandson and grand daughter T.R.Hs Prince Nicholas and Princess Katerina of Yugoslavia.
Her Majesty’s life had been tragic – the loss of her husband at the hands of an assassin in Marseilles her elder son’s loss of his throne and the exile of her family. She remained a rallying point for exiled Yugoslavs in this country and worked hard in visiting her former subjects and supporting their cathedral of St.Savva, the former Anglican church of St. Columb in Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, London.
May the Handmaid of God, Maria, now Rest in Peace.
Following the First World War there was an attempt to regain the Church of the Holy Wisdom for Christian worship, as related in the last edition of Chrysostom. This failed, but the new ruler of Turkey following the collapse of the Ottoman Sultanate, Kemal Ataturk attempted to turn Turkey into a secular state and part of his reforms was to transform Hagia Sophia into a neutral secular museum in 1934, together with the abolition of the veiling of women and the fez for men; and the forbidding of religious dress for Christians apart from the Œcumenical patriarch and the Patriarch of the Armenians of Constantinople. Visitors to Istanbul will have noticed the return of the veil and the fez. Now there are many Turks who wish to see Hagia Sophia returned again for Moslem worship. In centres outside Istanbul there have been transformations of historic churches into mosques, such as the 13th century Byzantine church building, also named Hagia Sophia, in Trebizond (Turkish Trabazon). During Turkey’s secular period the church’s frescoes were restored. Yet local authorities have recently decreed that the Christian frescoes should again be covered and the church/museum turned into a worshipping mosque. The 5th century Studios monastery of St John Prodromou (The Foreunner) is set to become an active mosque. Also at risk is the oldest continuously functioning monastery in the world the 5th century Mar Gabriel, now inhabited by a handful of Christians dedicated to learning the ancient Aramaic and Syrian Orthodox tradition. Neighbouring Moslems have filed a law suit accusing the monks of anti-Turkish activities. The highest appeal court in Ankara ruled in favour of the Moslem villagers. It was said that the monastic lands had been part of the Christian community for 1,600 years and is not the monastery’s property as it had been built on the site of a mosque, overlooking the fact that the monastery had been built 170 years before the birth of the Prophet Mohammed!
560 years ago this year, Constantinople fell to the Turks and the Christians lost the greatest cathedral in Christendom, which had been a symbol of defiance against jihad. Today jihad is again on the agenda, whilst in the West, Europeans are busy erasing their Christian heritage.