Damascus - On Tuesday evening of 13 December, 2011, in the context of the session of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in Syria, there took place in the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, an ecumenical prayer vigil for peace in Syria, with the participation of representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches present in the country. The liturgical texts for this celebration, which was broadcast live on Syrian television, were taken from the seasonal cycle for the Nativity.

In his address, H. B. Patriarch Gregorios III, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, affirmed loyalty to the Syrian homeland from all Christian Churches, and their unanimous wish to work for national unity and Christian-Muslim living together, and their rejection of any foreign intervention to resolve the current crisis.

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)