16 September, 2011

Beiruit - On 16 September, in the church of St. John Chrysostom, in the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Beirut, Archimandrite Robert Rabbat was ordained bishop during the Divine Liturgy led by Patriarch Gregorios III, together with Bishops Salim (Bustros) and Issam (Darwish). Also present were six other bishops from Lebanon and Syria, besides the new bishop.

Present at the ordination were the mother, brother and other relatives and friends of the new bishop, together with mothers and fathers general of religious orders.

In his sermon, Patriarch Gregorios III referred to the guidance given by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy, and to the Gospel-reading for the beginning of the ecclesial year in September, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor...” (Luke 4: 18 ff. Cf. Isaiah 61: 1 ff.) which may be seen as a programme of action in the Church and in the world, and especially for  a worthy future with peace and reconciliation in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

After his ordination, Bishop Robert travelled to Australia for his enthronement as Bishop of Australia and New Zealand by his predecessor in post, Bishop Issam.

Notes by Patriarch Gregorios III

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)