Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Day of Paeans for Abp. Romero and Fr. Rother


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#BlessedRomero #Beatification
 (in the Christian Church) a service of evening prayers, psalms, and canticles, conducted according to a set form, especially that of the Anglican Church.
“choral evensong”.

Westminster Abbey, the legendary royal chapel in London, site of the coronation of British monarchs, is holding an evensong commemorating the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero today, Saturday September 23, 2017.  Composer James MacMillan was commissioned to produce an anthem to be premiered for the occasion, a grand ceremony with the participation of high ranking Anglican and Catholic prelates.  Lord Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, will preach, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols will take part in the service, along with other Church leaders.  The Salvadoran ambassador will also be in attendance. [Moreinformation.]

Portion of the hymn published by the Romero Trust.
In an article published in Church Times, Paul Vallely tweaked Catholic Romero followers over the fact that the event is being celebrated in one of the great Anglican houses of worships, and not a Catholic cathedral.  It is, of course, singularly apt,” Vallely writes, pointing out that Westminster Abbey did not hesitate to place a statue of Romero alongside the twentieth century martyrs commemorated in its western façade (photo), while the Catholic Church fretted over whether or not to beatify the Salvadoran martyr.  Romero has long been a distinctly Anglican saint.”

Across the pond on the same day, the Catholic Church will recognize another of its sons killed in the political turmoil of Central America in the 1980s as a martyr, when it beatifies Fr. Stanley Rother, assassinated by rightwing paramilitaries in 1981.  The new blessed has the distinction of being the first U.S.-born martyr—though perhaps not the last to have laid down their lives in the service of Central Americans, if the U.S. churchwomen killed in El Salvador in the same year are someday beatified as martyrs.

Blessed Oscar Romero and Blessed Stanley Rother, pray for us!

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