21 June 2016

The thirteenth Extraordinary Prayer in the Maronite Church

The thirteenth extraordinary prayer for reconciliation, peace and unity took place in the Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate of Jerusalem, on the very day that the Orthodox Church celebrates Pentecost.


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“(…) we came today to hear the word of God and celebrate Eucharist from all the Christian Churches; we came here to open our hearts and minds to the work of the Holy Spirit and to listen to His inspiration, which invites us to embody the meaning of this event.”

On Sunday June 19, on the day of Pentecost for the Oriental Churches, the Maronite Archbishop, Mons. Moussa El Hage, welcomed with these words, in the small but filled church of the Patriarchal Exarchate, in the heart of the old city of Jerusalem, the religious representatives of the different churches and the local faithful who gathered for the thirteenth edition of the extraordinary prayer of all churches.

H.E. Mons. MOUSSA EL- Hage
Maronite Archbishop of Haïfa and the Holy Land
"Today is a special day because we prayed on the day of the feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Resurrection. We prayed according to the Orthodox calendar here in Jerusalem, a prayer of special significance because this is the very place where the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles ... 100 meters from here, close to us, in the Upper Room. We are also only 100 meters away from the Holy Sepulcher."

The Vespers Prayer, ‘Ramsho’ in Syriac, was marked according to the customs and specificities of the Maronite Church, in a ritual that united all the people present in a succession of songs, readings and prayers.


Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of the Holy Land and Jordan
“We thank God for this opportunity to participate on behalf of the Syriac Maronite Church and all the churches ... I pray for unity, forgiveness, love and peace especially in this day of celebration, Pentecost, which is a feast of unity. Today, God through the Holy Spirit, has gathered all of us here to pray for unity, to bring us back to the origins, to the time of the Disciples, when they also met with love and unity.”

Maronite - Jerusalem
“This was a thanksgiving prayer, a meditation in the presence of all churches ... Today we prayed God to unite us all, one day, in a single church.”

The ritual of adoration of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ended with the sprinkling of the holy water on the faithful, on the roof of this "little jewel". The faithful were on their knees in front of the Basilica of the Resurrection, united "in one thought, in one heart and in one single deed."

An event where Jerusalem was in communion with the rest of the world, thanks to live television: this event was broadcasted in several countries.

Assistant - Extraordinary Prayer Promotion
"We had an exceptional and emotional ceremony on the day of the Orthodox Pentecost that concluded with a very simple ritual: we kneeled before God to ask the Holy Spirit to change us ...
We and our religious leaders bowed before the Holy Sepulcher: I think this is an extraordinary image that sums up what this prayer is meant to represent: summoning people to God’s mercy."

On this day, - the Maronite Archbishop emphasized - the Spirit, through the words of Pope Francis, invites us to read the signs of time (...): "Let us go forward, then, let us go forward to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. "