The Portal June 2018 - Page 6

THE P RTAL June 2018 Page 6 Christianity in the Holy Land Fr Mark Woodruff concludes his series of articles with the Holy Land F or two years our journey around Eastern Christianity has shown the Ordinariates as yet another instance of the wide diversity that fulfils Christ’s commission to the Church to be universal. To end our voyage through the Church’s four eastern liturgical families, we return to where it began: the Holy Land. In the occupied territories of Palestine, most Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox patriarchate of Jerusalem; the largest minority belongs to the Latin patriarchate of the Roman Catholic Church. In the state of Israel, most Christians belong to the Melkite Church, one of the “Orthodox Churches in union with Rome” - their patriarch Joseph of Antioch is also patriarch of Jerusalem and Alexandria for the Greek Catholics of Middle Eastern tradition. There are also minorities of Orthodox and Roman Catholics. But what of Catholics in Israel who are not Arabic speakers? What of Jewish Catholics and non-Jewish people who have settled in Israel? Meet your sister: not an Ordinariate, but St James’ Vicariate for Hebrew- Speaking Catholics in Israel. It is part of the Latin patriarchate of Jerusalem, but since that mainly serves Arab Christians and the pilgrims, the Vicariate has its own patriarchal vicar. While it belongs to the Roman rite, usages from Eastern and Hebraic patrimony express the fullness of Catholic faith in the context of modern Israel, rooted in both Jewish and Christian histories. Like the Eastern Churches, there is special respect for the Sabbath as well as Sunday; and to the Roman Calendar are added the Byzantine feasts of the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament, along with the saints and martyrs of other local Churches. They honour Catholic saints of Jewish descent, such as St John of Avila and the Carmelites, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross; and they solemnly commemorate the Shoah, not least venerating its Jewish Catholic martyr, St Teresa Benedicta, Edith Stein. Furthermore, those who wish to may integrate the abstinence, fasts and feasts of the Jewish religion with their Catholic practice. & Matriarchs, Moses, and David (honoured in his son, Christ the King), forming with the familiar December Sundays an extended “Great Advent”. Because the second commandment forbids graven images to the Hebrews, icons (a Christian form of imagery indigenous to the Holy Land) are venerated in place of statues. And, given the roots of the Holy Land’s Christianity in the community of Aramaic- speaking Jews to which St James, brother of the Lord, was first bishop, the patrimony of Syriac prayer-texts and chants of the Church of Jerusalem are being used in the development of a music tradition that also draws on the Hebrew psalms and Jewish liturgical tradition, as well as Roman Catholic devotion and new compositions. O sing unto the Lord a new song, says Psalm 95/6. For many Catholics in England, the arrival into their midst of the Anglican patrimony, representing 460 years of following and worshipping Jesus Christ, and now put to service in the fullness of communion for the Catholic Church’s representation of the Gospel in our history and culture, is said to bring too strange a tune. But it is none other than a part in the one composition arranged from all the cultures, histories, usages, custom, rites and Churches that together show the Church to be one Body because it is the Many, diverse as FRVGBVFW26&7BखFRW6VBbfFG2&B67FFǒ'&w0f'FG&V7W&W2BBWrFW2FR&F&FW0bfVW&&RvƖ6G&W7B2FRVpFR6W&6V"&Vv2vFFRWv6WrV"V'&Wr6FƖ2f6&FRRBG&V7W&Rf"W0GW&r6WFV&W"&662FW2fV7BbvFWBW"6W&6rB6&rBvR&RW70FR7&VF"bFbWfRBFRfV7Bb7VBWVVBFvfR6f6r66VBbFRPF&W&6W2v6RvFW"&VWv7&GVƗGvFW3FBFR6FƖ26W&62FRR`7VfgW6W2FRWrFW7FVB6VV'&FW2FR&Bb&V66ƖF6W&6VGBFfW'6RVG( 0FRV'FFRfvr7VF2b7F&W"BvrBvrgVfVBFR6&G@fV&W"6FVFR'&FRG&&62G'WFbFR&6V6&7B