A celebration in the ecumenical spirit

By invitation of Father Zé Manuel, Catholic priest of the Parish of Nossa Senhora da Luz, St.Vincent’s Anglican Chaplaincy was invited to a Festa de Pentecostes in Luz Village Hall on May 27 ‘in the ecumenical spirit’.

The idea was to enjoy a meal on a ‘bring and share’ basis, followed by a period of worship. This was our third meeting together since the beginning of the year and is a big step along the road to Christian unity. We arrived at 7pm to find the hall double-booked and a junior karate class going full throttle, which gave us an hour to sit in the sun and talk with our opposite numbers on their home ground. Finally, tables and chairs were set out and, by 8.15pm, we sat down to a most delicious buffet.

That done, we had a practice run through an assortment of hymns, accompanied by Nick Downs on keyboard, as verses were repeated in both languages. Then to the serious business of celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples in Jerusalem around AD 35.

Father David gave a brief introduction with Padré Zé Manuel, before we launched into a programme of songs interspersed with Gospel readings, psalms and a short time of prayer for the state of the nations, the sick and the underprivileged throughout the world.

After The Peace and Blessing, Senhora Rosanne spoke for a few moments. She is a representative of The Folclare Movement in Faro that is dedicated to the growth of ecumenical worship in Portugal and beyond, and believes in the propagation of love as the road to peace. All it takes is for one small seed to germinate in fertile ground, so the least we can do is to nurture it. This has been made possible in the Algarve thanks to the encouragement of Bishop Manuel of Faro and the co-operation of the local Catholic Church congregation, with whom we passed a most happy evening. Margaret Brown