CWN - Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has told reporters that he sees a possibility for reunion between the Orthodox and Roman churches, even if it “will probably not happen during my life.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch, who made history by traveling to Rome for the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis, said that he was surprised to receive an invitation from the new Pontiff to join in a dinner with cardinals.

Speaking in Turkey after his return, the Orthodox leader said that he saw a new attitude at the Vatican, which heightened his optimism about the prospects for restoring Christian unity. He said that “there is a possibility for the next generations to see the churches of the East and West.”

While he was at the Vatican, Patriarch Bartholomew invited Pope Francis to join him in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to commemorate the historic meeting there 50 years ago between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras.


Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)