Meeting at Aleppo
15-17 November 2010


The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria met at Aleppo under the presidency of Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, to discuss matters arising from the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.

The Assembly was first concerned with the problems of Caritas trying to deal with the difficulties of Iraqi refugees in Syria.

It went on to consider the matter of the personal statute in legislation.

The Assembly also discussed the Syrian President's initiative to hold an international Christian-Muslim Congress in December 2010 to examine the impact of the Synod's recommendations on Middle Eastern countries.

The Assembly also discussed the date of Pascha, when next year (as this year) once again Eastern and Western calendars coincide. There was a desire among the participants to continue to work, in order to have in future unified Christian witness in the Middle East's predominantly Muslim countries.

On the final day, the Synod was attended by representatives of other Churches, including the Greek Orthodox, the Syriac Orthodox, and the Armenian Orthodox Churches and Protestant Churches. They also support the unification of the date for celebrating Pascha.

V. C.


Joachim and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (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.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)