ROME, FEB. 27, 2007 ( A concert to be held next month is intended by organizers as a means to promote Christian unity, especially between Orthodox and Catholics.

The musical composition, "The Passion According to Matthew," will be presented in Rome on March 29 in an auditorium next to the Vatican.

It was composed by Bishop Hilarion Alfeev of Vienna and Austria, representative of the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow to the European Community.

"The Passion" will be conducted by Vladimir Fedoseev and interpreted by Russia's largest symphonic orchestra, the Petr Chajkovskij Grand Symphonic Orchestra, and by the Trethakovskij Choir.

Father Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy director of the Department for Relations with External Churches of Moscow's Patriarchate and spokesman of Patriarch Alexy II, will represent the Moscow Patriarchate.

The concert will also be attended by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Interreligious Dialogue.

The concert will be presented for the first time in Moscow two days earlier in the presence of Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II.

Code: ZE07022729

Date: 2007-02-27

Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.

Archimandrite Sophrony