Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Byzantine liturgy in Chinese 'a success'
A Catholic first has been overwhelmingly well received, says priestFather Olexander Kenez at the Divine Liturgy during the Chung Yeung festival
- ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- October 7, 2011
This is the first time in Christian history that the traditional liturgy of the Eastern Catholic Church has been celebrated â€śin the Cantonese language, with Cantonese songs, by Cantonese priests and in a Cantonese cultural setting,â€ť said Father Olexander Kenez, chancellor of the Ukrainian Eparchy in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.
Fr Kenez is in Hong Kong onÂ a three-week visit to preside over three Cantonese-Ukrainian liturgies and a series of lectures about the traditional rite and prayers of the Eastern Church. He returns to Melbourne on October 16.
Referring to a Divine Liturgy (Mass) at Mother of Good Counsel Church on October 2, he said it had not been sung in Cantonese before and â€śthe response was beyond my expectations.â€ť
â€śI thought only the two cantors would sing at the Mass, but everybody sang and prayed so naturally as if they have joined this liturgy for a thousand years,â€ť he said.
â€śWe are importing the Word of God, but not importing a foreign culture.â€ť Though the liturgy and church setting particularly the Iconostas are not completely in the Ukrainian style, itâ€™s important that local Catholics can pray together, the priest stressed.
Father Thomas Law Kwok-fai, chairman of Hong Kong dioceseâ€™s Liturgy Commission, said the commission wants to introduce â€śanother lungâ€ť to local Catholics as the late popes described the Western and Eastern rites of the Catholic Church as â€śbreathing with both lungs.â€ť
The Byzantine liturgy has a stronger sense of community and Godâ€™s presence, said Fr Law, who translated the liturgy into Chinese.
Fr Kenez also celebrated a Divine Liturgy to pray for the dead on October 5, during the Chung Yeung festival, a day when some people clean grave sites.
It was followed by a prayer gathering, during which he invited all participants to write down the names of their dead relatives and friends. The names were read out one by one as in the Ukrainian rite.
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