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Queen’s Birthday Weekend Spiritual Retreat

“The Divine Liturgy” Queen’s Birthday Weekend Spiritual Retreat

Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Press Release: St George’s Orthodox Christian parish, Wellington


The Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church has long fascinated both its practitioners and observers. It is not just the beauty of the singing, the priestly garments, the sentiments of the prayers, or the savour of the incense, which touches one’s heart: though all these are good and commendable in themselves. But there is ˜something else™ beyond these elements of the liturgy which seems to somehow shine through them all; ˜something™ which somehow sets the soul free to taste, as it were, the very flavour of heaven itself.

St George’s, Wellington, a parish in the Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand, of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, has organised a retreat event to explore that ‘something’ which touches us in the Divine Liturgy. The retreat will be held over Queen’s Birthday weekend, from Friday 30 May - Sunday 1 June 2008, at El Rancho Christia΅ Holiday Park, Kauri Road, Waikanae.

The retreat is open to all interested in exploring the path to being filled with Divine Grace; and to all ages. For parents worried about smaller children: the children too will be guided through Sunday school-type learning activities on the Divine Liturgy, as well as art activities and, weather permitting, outdoor fun.

Retreat speakers will include Orthodox clergy and laity. Specific topics will include: the centrality of the Divine Liturgy in the Christian faith; the meaning of the Eucharist as Sacrifice; the historical development of the Divine Liturgy from the earliest times; differences between the Divine Liturgy as celebrated in the Byzantine tradition and the Slavonic churches; and traditions of corporate and personal prayer which lead us into a deeper appreciation of the liturgy itself.

The retreat will be held at El Rancho from the evening of Friday 30 May: ending after lunch on Sunday 1 June. The Divine Liturgy of St Gregory (the Western Church's Mass) will be celebrated early on the morning of Saturday 31 May; and the Eastern Church's Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom early on the morning of Sunday 1 June.

Opportunity will be given for sharing and meeting others from different traditions, as well as to discuss and respond to aspects of the Orthodox liturgy itself.

For further information and for the registration form, look at: http://retreat.antiochian.org.nz; or call William on 021 2521656 or 04 5692298 (after 6.00 pm).

END

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