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 email@example.com for details.
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Here is the recording of the Liturgy for the Dormition-Assumption, with the friendly visit of a magnificent choir.
Monday, 10 August 2015
Pope Francis extends Orthodox Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation to the Catholic Church; commends to all Christians through WCC
Pope Francis has established a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. It will be celebrated on September 1st every year. The Pope was inspired by the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate, which has celebrated a prayer day for the environment on this date for years. In a letter announcing the observance, Pope Francis said that it "will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers.”
With this new day of prayer, Pope Francis is making a new call for "ecological conversion.” He wants Christians to help improve the environment and humanity in general. In the letter, he recalled his words in "Laudato Si”: that protecting the environment "is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
The letter was sent to the heads of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Cardinals Turkson and Koch. Pope Francis asked Turkson to make sure all episcopal conferences and international organizations were aware of the new prayer day. He said he wants to ensure that "this annual celebration becomes a powerful moment of prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate life styles.”
The Pope asked Cardinal Koch to involve other Christian denominations, so that the new prayer day "can become the sign of a path along all believers in Christ walk together.”
Pope Francis convenes the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Text of Decree:
To my Venerable Brothers, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Cardinal Kurt KOCH, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
Sharing with my beloved brother the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew his concerns for the future of creation (cfr Encylical Letter. Laudato Si, 7-9) and taking up the suggestion by his representative, the Metropolitan John [Zizioulas] of Pergamum who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si on the care of our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation" which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September, as the Orthodox Church has done for some time now.
As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through. Therefore, first of all we must draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation, always remembering that for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for us, "the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us." (ibid., 216). The ecological crisis therefore calls us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to "an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them." (ibid., 217). Thus, "living our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience."(ibid).
The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live. The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers. We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective. Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue.
Cardinal Turkson, as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, I ask you to inform the Justice and Peace Commissions of the Bishops' Conferences, as well as the national and international Organizations involved in environmental issues about the establishment of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, so that in union with the needs and the local situation, this celebration can be rightly marked with the participation of the entire People of God: priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful. For this reason, it will be the task of this Dicastery, in collaboration with the Episcopal Conferences to set up relevant initiatives to promote and illustrate this Day, so that this annual celebration becomes a powerful moment of prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate life styles.
Cardinal Koch, as President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, I am asking you to make the necessary contacts with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and with the other ecumenical organisations so that this World Day can become the sign of a path along all believers in Christ walk together. It will also be your Dicastery's task to take care of the coordination with similar initiatives set up by the World Council of Churches.
Whilst I look forward to the widest possible cooperation for the best start and development of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, I invoke the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and of St. Francis of Assisi, whose Canticle of the Creatures inspires so many men and women of goodwill to live in praise of the Creator and with respect for creation. I support this pledge along with my Apostolic Blessing which I impart with all my heart to you, my dear Cardinals, and to all those who collaborate in your ministry.
From the Vatican, 6th August 2015
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
Saturday, 8 August 2015
Saturday 1st August saw the Festival of Eastern Catholic Churches, held at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, London, organised by the Society of Saint John Chrysostom, the Catholic society founded in 1926 in the Diocese of Westminster to support and promote the Eastern Catholic Churches and especially the reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The first for decades, the Festival brought together 70 clergy and faithful from various Catholic Churches of both East and West, which are all in full communion with Rome.
After a warm welcome to his Cathedral from Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, the Bishop in the United Kingdom of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches (Byzantine Rite in common with the Orthodox Churches), the followed the celebration of the Holy Qurbana in English, by three priests of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the second largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches (East Syrian Rite, in common with the Chaldean Catholic Church), whose direct origins are the apostolic Church founded by St Thomas and which is now spread across the world in diaspora. A beautiful Syro-Malabar choir sang and played instruments throughout the Mass, to a new setting in English devised by the eminent linguist and musicologist, Fr Joseph Palackal, who presided.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is one of two Eastern Catholic Churches in India, the other being the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (Western Syrian Rite in common with the Syriac Catholic and Orthodox Churches).
After Qurbana, Dr Palackal presented two informative films. The first, on the origins, history and culture of the Churches of St Thomas, was Kerala, the Cradle of Christianity in South Asia: A Cultural Interface of Religion and Music. With the second, Aramaic, Jesus and India: A Connection through Language and Music, Dr Palackal showed how the Christians of India still use the language of Christ brought to them in the first century, along with the Syriac music tradition from the Holy Land and Persia, as well India’s own languages and music. Fr Mark Woodruff, Vice Chairman of the Society, said, “Father Joseph has shown us that just as the Latin Roman Catholic Church has spread throughout the world in history, now the Eastern Churches likewise are found everywhere: the global south, north America and Western Europe. This newly shows not only the diversity of Catholic communion, but also that the Eastern Churches are integral to the Catholic Church’s life here, its faith and increasingly its identity. As they grow, too, they are part of a richer presentation to wider society of Christ’s Kingdom. Uniting the patrimony in art, language, liturgy and music from an historic Church with English for the future in a new environment, is vital and teaches us much about how to be the Church in the world.”
In the afternoon, John Newton spoke about Aid to the Church in Need’s presence in the Middle East, helping the local Churches to survive and care for those in need and destitution because of the atrocities in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon towards Christians. The day concluded with Byzantine Vespers of Sunday in English, served by Father Mark. In total the Festival raised £1,500 for Aid to the Church in Need.
Peter Pidjarkowskyj Bykar, Secretary