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Seeking Unity: Wednesday 24 January at 6.30 pm

Updated: Jan 24

Cambridge is rich with music, especially the College Chapels. The richest of their

Liturgies is Evensong. This is the name that English medieval men and women - all Catholic, of course - gave to Vespers (prayer in the evening). Then, at the Reformation, a Liturgy was devised by the Church of England which combined Vespers and Compline (prayer at night), which was also given the name of Evensong. Ever since, this Anglican Liturgy has been a place of great poetry, rich music, and deep prayer. To mark the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, Evensong will be celebrated tomorrow (24 January) in our Chapel, led by the Dean and Choir of Peterhouse. All are welcome.

The Church's official document on ecumenism states that 'in liturgical celebrations taking place in other Churches and ecclesial Communities, Catholics are encouraged to take part in the psalms, responses, hymns and common actions of the Church in which they are guests. If invited by their hosts, they may read a lesson or preach.' As Fisher House is often welcomed to celebrate Mass in the Colleges' Chapels, and its Chaplains invited to preach at Evensong, it is good to return that welcome and hospitality.

At the Last Supper, Our Lord prayed for the Apostles and all who would believe in Him through their preaching: 'May [they] all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me' (John 17.21). The divisions among Christians are scandalous. It makes it harder for others to believe in the Gospel. We must not become comfortable with these divisions. May the shared prayer of Christians be a source of grace in our efforts to be one.

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