Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Three-day meeting with Metropolitan John

Metropolitan Gabriel, of blessed memory, unable to give us much guidance and training due to his ill health, nevertheless kept us deep in his heart and prayers. We have prayed over the years for a bishop who would be in good health and who would give the priests much needed training and encouragement.
Our good God has answered our prayers in the person of Metropolitan John.
For three days in mid-July, Martin Shorthose, Matthew Carson and I went to Whirlow Grange near Sheffield, along with around forty others from our Antiochian Deanery. Sayedna John was joined by Metropolitan Saba of Bosra-Hauran in Syria and Monk Parthenios to give clear and definitive guidance on how we should serve the liturgies of the Church.

Metropolitan Saba presides over Vespers with Metropolitan John

We have, over the last fifteen years, been helped greatly by Orthodox priests from other jurisdictions. Now our archbishop has given us his guidance so that the whole archdiocese will be serving the liturgies in the same way.
We belong to the Antiochian Orthodox Church and our way of serving the liturgies will reflect this.
This does not say "this is the only right way" but rather this is our way, as Antiochians.
For us, at St. Michael's, the changes are very few and obedience to our archbishop will be easy. Let us pray for all our churches that the Holy Spirit will bring to us the blessing of unity and love as we obey our beloved archbishop, to whom may God grant Many Years.