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News Release - Melkite Church in America

Deacon Candidates to celebrate Pentecost at
Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Church, Manchester, NH

On Sunday, May 31, the participants in the 1998 Summer session of the Deacon training program Newton Mass will visit Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Catholic Church on South Beech Street. They will join the Pastor, Rev. Eugene Mitchell, BSO, and the congregation in the Orthros (Matins) service at 10:15 AM and the Divine Liturgy (Mass) of St. John Chrysostom at 11:00 AM.   The most Reverend John A. Elya, Eparch of Newton for the Melkites in the United States will accompany the deacon candidates, together with Rev. Andre St. Germain, a native of Manchester, Assistant Director of the Program.

The Divine Liturgy will be followed by the traditional "Kneeling Service." Which takes place on Pentecost.  Traditionally in the Byzantine Church there is no kneeling from Easter Day (Pascha) until Pentecost, to symbolize the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ over death. A special service is performed to ask for the descent of the Holy Spirit over the faithful and to reintroduce kneeling again in the church services. Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit over the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire as reported in the Book of the Acts.  A reception in the church hall will follow the kneeling service.

The 1998 Summer session of the Deacon Training Program started on May 23 and will be concluded on June 6.  15 men are inscribed in the present session, 13 for the Melkite Diocese from the parishes of Boston, Central Falls RI, Chicago IL, (2), El Segundo CA, Fullerton  CA, Temecula CA, Delray FL, Yonkers NY (2) McLean VA, Atlanta GA, New Orleans LA, one for the Ruthenian Catholic Diocese of Parma, OH, one for the Romenian Catholic Diocese of Canton, OH.,  The required training includes four Summer sessions of two weeks each and monitored readings during the year.

It is the second time in a month that the Parish of Our Lady of the Cedars receives its Eparch. On Sunday, May 17, Bishop Elya visited the parish and celebrated the first Anniversary memorial of Rev. Joseph Dagher, BSO, former Pastor of Our Lady of the Cedars. Bishop Elya was Pastor of Our Lady of the Cedars three terms before he was consecrated Bishop on 1986 as Auxiliary to
Archbishop Joseph Tawil and later on installed as Eparch of the Melkite Diocese of Newton on 1994.

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