I have been watching Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the Holy Land on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
The Holy See has a Missal for his Apostolic Journey which contains the liturgical material for the various places and events he will be attending. I found the Missal very interesting reading. It’s like a program for “how things are done.” The next time the Pope is on the TV, I will open the Missal and try to follow along.
This evening I watched Pope Benedict XVI celebrate Vespers at the Greek Melkite Cathedral of Saint George, Amman, Jordan. The energy of the church was remarkable and I think Pope Benedict XVI was genuinely pleased with the huge outpouring of affection he received. It was clear the people knew they were a part of a history-making event and they wanted to treasure each moment.
As I read parts of the 286 page Missal for Vespers, I came across this part near the end of Vespers May 9:
“SONG OF THE CANONIZATION
OF SAINT BENEDICT
“The flute of pastoral divinity has been louder than the trumpets of the speakers. You have touched the depths of the spirit. You were granted the grace of an eloquent tongue. Pray, Father Benedict, to the Lord Jesus, for the salvation of our souls”.
As a Benedictine oblate, finding references and praises for St. Benedict is always enlightening. I have no idea if that Song of the Canonization is part of the Greek Melkite practice, or whether it was a special addition, or whether it is what the Pope does in other settings — but it was interesting to see a reference to St. Benedict.
Melkites are the present day Catholics:
"•Who are the Church of Antioch (Patriarchate [See] of Antioch)
"... and it was at Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians." (Acts 11:26)
•Who are in Ecclesiastical Communion with the Holy See of Rome"
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