Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Eucharistic Unity and Ritual Diversity

The 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec is notable for being the first International Congress at which the eastern Catholic Church has been not only represented, but also celebrated the Divine Liturgy. On Wednesday last week, the Byzantine Metropolitan of Winnipeg (yes, there is such a person) concelebrating with other Byzantine rite Catholic bishops, including my friend Bishop George, the Melchite Bishop of Tyre in Lebanon, celebrated the Byzantine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. Because of the environment, this look quite different to a celebration of the Divine Liturgy in a church, however, it was good to remember that the Catholic Church is a communion of diverse ancient rites. What this celebration did for the Eucharistic Congress was to remind us that the liturgy is not something we do, and it certainly not entertainment. It is an entry into the mystery of Christ. Through the words and actions of the liturgy we enter profoundly into the mystery of the Trinity (represented by the three branch candlestick which the Bishop carries) and the mystery of Christ (represented by the two branch candlestick, being the two natures of Christ). This is something which the Holy Father reminded us of in the homily at the close of the Congress - more about that later.

Here are a few videos of the celebration. Firstly, the preparation for the Gospel:

Here is the homily by Mgr Lawrence Huculak:

And the cherubic hymn:

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