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Two Anglican Church celebrations in Turkey

Posted on: June 18, 2014 1:21 PM
Photo Credit: Diocese of Europe
Related Categories: Ecumenical, Turkey

From the Diocese in Europe website

Canon John Higgins reports on two stories reflecting life in the church in Ankara in recent weeks.

“Recently we experienced a demonstration of a historic moment in the strengthening of links between our own Church of England and the Armenian Apostolic Church. To my absolute surprise and delight, I was invited by Bishop Hovakim, Director for Inter Church Relations of the Armenian Apostolic Church, to preside at an ecumenical celebration of the Eucharist for the Feast of the Ascension. The service was held in Bishop Hovakim’s home diocese in the north of Armenia, in a monastery church in Harichavank.

“Present at the service were representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church, including seminarians who are studying at Harichavank, plus members of the Anglican Congregation in Armenia bolstered by a visiting tourist group from the UK that was led by Canon William Taylor from the Diocese of London.

"This is a possible first in the history of inter church fellowship in Armenia, and provided a powerful symbol of unity as we celebrated together the Ascension of our Lord.”

Canon Higgins also tells us; “Having kept the Feast of the Ascension on Ascension Day we transferred the Feast of the Visitation to the Sunday following to allow a ‘women and girls’ centred liturgy to complement our December patronal Boy-Bishop liturgy.

"With a script based on the Visitation Gospel by Kate Redden, translation by Fr Ebrahim into Farsi, and costumes by Whitney Wiggs, with Olivia Bishop playing Elizabeth and acting as narrator, Sadef Abdolvand playing Mary, and Rosalynn Ay playing Gabriel. Also, with neither Olivia speaking Farsi nor Sadef English, the drama, which replaced the Gospel and sermon, wove seamlessly between Farsi and English, though the congregation of well over 60 had the text in both languages.”