and * WELLINGTON
* Diamond Harbour
SERVICES RESUMED AT ASHLEY
As from Ash Wednesday, February 28, Fr Jack has resumed the daily Mass in the Church at the canonical times. On the First Sunday in Lent, March 4, the usual 9.45 am service will be held at Ashley, and Fr Dn Michael will hold the Typica Liturgy at 11 am at Diamond Harbour.
From the first Sunday in April, April 1, First Sunday Liturgies will resume for the Christchurch Orthodox with an 11 am service at Cathedral Grammar Chapel, on the corner of Chester Street West and Park Terrace, by the Avon.
We hope to be able to confirm soon that this will be the first of a series on the first Sunday of the month: May 6, June 3, July 1, and a date in August during Metropolitan Paul's visit. The matter still has to be confirmed by the new Headmaster who begins in the second term. Several baptisms have already been tentatively arranged for after the Liturgy on June 3.
By holding a series up to August we hope to revive the English Language Liturgies of S. John Chrysostom which enjoyed some support in the 80s but dwindled in the mid-90s.
The Second Sunday Liturgies in Wellington resumed on March 8. Fr Ilyan flew up for that weekend, and the Russian Church in Miramar was available. Fr Dn George also flew down to assist.
Discussion has been going on about the details of Holy Week. Fr Nabil will be holding services from Wednesday April 11, and Fr Jack and Mother Julia will join them on Maundy Thursday. Several services are planned in Arabic and English and the times are now decided:
Arabic services at S. Patrick's College Chapel, Kilbirnie. English services in Dr Nield's house.
Wednesday April 11: Holy Oil Service 7 pm
Thursday April 12:
Vesperal Liturgy 9 am
(Fr Jack and Julia fly in 4.20 pm)
Mass of Last Supper 6 pm
Service of 12 Gospels 7 pm
Good Friday April 13: Solemn Liturgy 4 pm
Lamentation Service 7 pm
Holy Saturday April 14: Confessions from 8 am
Vesperal Liturgy 9.30 am
Easter Vigil 6 pm
Easter Sunday April 15: Matins 8.30 am
[Fr Jack & Julia fly out 8.25 am]
Resurrection Liturgy 9.30 am [land ChCh 9.20 am]
Easter Day Mass at Ashley 11 am
From what we hear, the Mission Parish of S. Ignatius continues to prosper under our dear Fr Michael.
Fr Dn George has sent us a report of an inaugural meeting, with 17 people including his own and 6 other families, with apologies from 5 more families. For full text, click on:
Ambrose has informed us that arrangements have been made for a Fr Victor
to come from Russia, and that arrangements for this should be completed
soon. He has sent this picture of Fr Victor in his present Church:
given by Fr Jack at Knox Church, 9 3 2001
I hope you can all hear me from here; I am not yet totally mobile - no, don't bother with the microphone, I am nervous of the things.
After the Anglican Church, - still the largest Church, I think, Bishop? - comes the Antiochian Orthodox Church, now with 5 congregations, but still, I think, by far the smallest member Church.
I was delighted that before he took on the job, Mr Earle went to the trouble of contacting me, and presumably other "Heads of Churches" to ask my thoughts. I was pleased and surprised to find that even after our conversation, he went ahead and took it on!
Mr Earle, I should like to bring you this message from our Antiochian Orthodox Church: we live in a world which is constantly trying to teach us the opposite of Chrisrianity, and we havc to be conmstantly on our guard. So I should like to give you this message as you seek to promote Christian Unity:
Our Lord Jesus Christ appointed Twelve, not Spin Doctors, but Apostles; and he taught them, not Diplomacy, but Truth. And of the Truth, he said, it shall make you free. Free from what? from the opposite of Truth, which is called heresy, and its consequence, which is called schism. These are the true names of what we now are now accustomed to refer to by the evasive weasel word disunity.
So we wish you well in working to rebuild unity among Christians by recovering unity in the Truth which our Lord entrusted to His Church.
CHRISTIAN USE OF THE PSALMS
The following came in recently on Zenit and I thought it worth reproducing.
VATICAN CITY, MAR. 28, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Following is a translation of John Paul II's address
at today's general audience.
1. In the Apostolic Letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte," I express the hope
that the Church will
increasingly be distinguished in the art of prayer, always learning it again from the lips of the divine
Master (see No. 32). Such a commitment must be lived especially in the Liturgy, source and summit
of ecclesial life. In this connection, it is important to dedicate greater pastoral attention to promoting
the Liturgy of the Hours, as the prayer of the whole People of God (see Ibid., 34).
If, in fact, the priests and religious have a specific mandate to recite it, it is, nevertheless, also warmly recommended to the laity. This was pointed out, just over 30 years ago or so, by my venerable predecessor Paul VI, in the constitution "Laudis Canticum," in which he outlined the existing model of this prayer, hoping that the Psalms and Canticles, underlying the structure of the Liturgy of the Hours, would be included "with renewed love by the People of God" (AAS , 532).
It is an encouraging fact that, both in parishes and in ecclesial
gatherings, many lay people have
learned to appreciate it. It is a prayer that implies catechetical and biblical formation, if it is to be
For this reason, we begin a series of catecheses today on the Psalms
and Canticles used in the
morning prayer of Lauds. In this way, I wish to encourage and help all to pray with the same words
used by Jesus, which have been present for thousands of years in the prayer of Israel and of the
2. We can begin to understand the Psalms through various ways. The first
is to present the literary
structure, authors, formation and context in which they came into being. Hence, a thought-provoking
reading that would put in evidence the poetic character, which at times reaches very high levels of
lyrical intuition and symbolic expression. No less interesting would be to read the Psalms by keeping
in mind the various feelings of the human spirit, which they manifest: joy, recognition, thanksgiving,
love, tenderness, enthusiasm, but also intense suffering, recrimination, appeals for help and justice,
which at times end in anger and curses. The human being discovers himself entirely in the Psalms.
Our reading will be geared, above all, to distill the religious
meaning of the Psalms, showing how
these, although written so many centuries ago by Hebrew believers, can be assumed in the prayer of
Christ's disciples. We will allow ourselves to be helped by the results of exegesis, but also place
ourselves in the school of Tradition, and above all we will listen to the Fathers of the Church.
3. With profound spiritual penetration the latter, in fact, knew how
to discern and point out the great
"key" to the reading of the Psalms in Christ himself, in the fullness of his mystery. The Fathers were
thoroughly convinced: The Psalms speak of Christ. In fact, the risen Jesus applied the Psalms to
himself when he said to the disciples that it is necessary "that everything written about me in the law
of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44). The Fathers add that in
the Psalms there is either reference to Christ, or Christ speaks directly. In saying this, they were not
only thinking of the individual person of Jesus, but the "Christus totus," the total Christ, made up of
Christ, the head and his members.
In this way, the possibility arises for the Christian to read
the Psalter in light of the whole mystery of
Christ. From this view, precisely, the ecclesial dimension also emerges, which is seen especially in
the choral singing of the Psalms. Thus we understand, how from the first centuries the Psalms were
able to be assumed as a prayer of the People of God.
If, in some historical periods, the tendency arose to prefer other prayers, it was the great merit of the monks to hold the torch of the Psalter high in the Church. At the dawn of the second Christian millennium, one of them, St. Romuald, founder of the Camaldolese, went so far as to maintain -- as his biographer Bruno di Querfurt states -- that the Psalms are the only way to experience truly profound prayer: "Una via in psalmis" (Passio Sanctorum Benedicti et Johannes ac sociorum eorundem: MPH VI, 1893, 427).
4. With this statement, which initially might appear exaggerated, he,
in fact, remained anchored to
the best tradition of the first Christian centuries, when the Psalter had become the book of ecclesial
prayer par excellence. This was the victorious choice in the confrontations with heretical tendencies
that continually undermined the unity of faith and communion.
In this respect, it is interesting to note a wonderful letter that St. Athanasius wrote to Marcellino in the first half of the fourth century, when the Arian heresy raged, which attacked the faith in the divinity of Christ. In face of the heretics, who attracted people to themselves with songs and prayers that pleased their religious feelings, this great Father of the Church dedicated himself with all his energy to teach the Psalter transmitted by Scripture (see PG 27, 12 ss.). It was thus that the psalmodic prayer, which soon became a universal practice among the baptized, was added to the "Our Father," the Lord's prayer par excellence.
5. Thanks also to the communal prayer of the Psalms, Christian conscience
is reminded and
understands that it is impossible to turn to the Father who lives in heaven without an authentic
communion of life with brothers and sisters who live on earth. Not only this, but vitally inserting
themselves in the praying tradition of the Hebrews, Christians learn to pray recounting the "magnalia
Dei," namely, the great wonders accomplished by God, be it in the creation of the world and
humanity, or in the history of Israel and the Church.
This form of prayer, drawn from Scripture, does not exclude certain freer expressions, and these will continue not only to characterize personal prayer, but also to enrich liturgical prayer itself, for example with hymns and tropes. Therefore, the Book of Psalms remains the ideal source of Christian prayer, and the Church of the new millennium will continue to be inspired in it.
We are surely at one with Pope John Paul II in his call to make the Psalms a fundamental element in our devotion. The Hours of both East and West steep us in their words, so realistic and so different from the "songs and prayers that pleased their religious feelings" referred to above (and still popular today among the sects.) -Fr.Jack