MOSCOW, OCT. 31, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Eucharistic Congress of Moscow’s Archdiocese of the Mother of God ended with the message the “Eucharist is life received and given; it is shared hope.”
To mark the end of the Year of the Eucharist, the archdiocese reflected for three days, Friday through Sunday, on the meaning and mission of the Eucharist, as a symbol of unity with Christ and its relationship with Christian hope.
The “Eucharist and hope have a deep relationship because the Eucharist is the happiness of our journey … the bread for the wayfarer,” said Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican secretary for relations with states, who ended his first visit to the Russian capital taking part in the congress’s closing Mass.
Concelebrating with Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Moscow, Archbishop Lajolo added: “With joy I participate with you in one same bread and one same cup of God, and I give you, at his request, the sentiment of a Father’s love and the apostolic blessing of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.”
The Eucharistic celebration began in a crowded cathedral with faithful from the various Russian and foreign communities that make up the archdiocese. Each group entered the church singing in its native language.
The first to enter were the Sunday School children, then the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking chaplaincy, followed by the Korean community, French-speaking Catholics and the Armenian community.
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz congratulated those present in more than 10 languages for the gift of the Eucharist.
A Eucharistic procession was held around the cathedral, on the streets of Moscow, despite the low temperature. It attracted adults and children who prayed and sang songs.
On Saturday night a deacon of the Spanish-and Portuguese-speaking chaplaincy was ordained, as was a priest for the archdiocese.
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz opened the congress’s lecture by speaking on “The Eucharist in the Light of the Recently Concluded Synod of Bishops.”