The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anglican Patrimony in the Heart of the Church: WESTMINSTER ABBEY CHOIR TO SING IN ST. PETER'S

Vatican City, 6 March 2012 (VIS) - The Choir of Westminster Abbey in London, England, is due to sing alongside the "Cappella Musicale Pontificia", or Sistine Choir, on 29 June, in an event which will be broadcast across the world. The Westminster Choir has been invited to the Holy See through Msgr. Massimo Palombella, director of the Sistine Choir.
A joint communique made public today notes that "this momentous ecumenical occasion is the first time in its over-500 year history that the Sistine Chapel Choir has joined forces with another choir. The invitation to Rome came after Pope Benedict XVI visited the Abbey in September 2010 when he attended Evening Prayer and prayed at the tomb of St. Edward the Confessor with Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, as part of his State visit to England and Scotland".
Speaking about the forthcoming visit, the primate of the Anglican Church has highlighted how St. Peter is patron of both the Vatican Basilica and of Westminster Abbey, therefore "celebrating together his apostolic witness and example is a powerful reminder of the call that our Churches share to be faithful to the apostolic fullness of the Gospel today".
The two choirs will together sing at First Vespers in the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls on 28 June, and at Mass in the Vatican Basilica on the morning of 29 June. The Westminster Abbey Choir will also travel to the Benedictine monastery at Montecassino to sing Vespers and Mass with the monastic community at the burial place of St Benedict. It was Benedictine monks who established a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day in Westminster Abbey, founded in the year 960.

From the Vatican Daily News Service.

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