Thursday, July 28, 2005

melanesian religious communities come to lambeth

O Christian women, Christian men,
All the world over, seek again
the Way disciples followed then:
Alleluya, alleluya, alleluya.

Tuesday afternoon's Eucharist in the Lambeth Palace Chapel began appropriately with George Bell's Christ is the King, O friends rejoice! The hymn was followed, as tradition dictates, by the confession and absolution, the collect and a reading. Then, at the point in the service when the appointed Psalm would normally be recited, someone quietly hummed a simple melody. A pause. Suddenly, music - rich, confident, joyful music - burst forth from the mouths of twenty-seven white-robed Melanesian congregants. Brilliant sound filled every corner of the chapel. Deep, swirling harmonies transported the heart. The Canticle of the Sun, a hymn reminiscent of Saint Francis' Canticle of All Creation, praising the beauty of the land and people of Melanesia, rose heavenward.

Members of the Melanesian Brotherhood, joined by members of the Sisters of Melanesia, the Society of St. Francis and the Sisters of the Church, were visiting Lambeth Palace as the special guests of Archbishop Rowan and Mrs. Williams. The Melanesians have been in England since April, sharing their ministry of drama, music and dance with the Dioceses of Chester and Exeter.

As you know, Beloved, I have a special place in my heart for the Anglican (very POD) religious communities of the Church of Melanesia. They are a powerful witness for the rest of us. Do keep them in your prayers, and support them in whatever way you can.

From the Anglican Communion News Service. Read the whole thing here.

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