St Abraham's : A Place of Prayer
The church is open for some hours before mass to provide a quiet place of prayer. From the street one enters a cloister which leads to the still calm of the church. While the church is indeed the sacred space for the liturgy, it is also a place for personal prayer and meditation in the presence of God.
The light of the sanctuary lamp in the church reminds us of the Eucharistic presence of Jesus in the tabernacle.
Of this Eucharistic presence St Thomas Aquinas prayed in words which sum up his teaching of the mystery which is before us in the tabernacle:
” O Sacred Banquet in which Christ is received,
the memory of his passion is renewed,
the soul is filled with grace
and a pledge of future glory is given to us.”
Our celebration and participation in the Mass is the centre of the life of St Abraham’s. As the source and summit of our lives, all other activities of the church are related to it. Whether it be social gatherings or sports activities, all are meant to build up and strengthen our common life in Christ.
In celebrating the mass as disciples of Jesus we follow his instructions at the Last Supper when he said “do this in remembrance of me” As a community we participate in the very life and love of God which is mostly clearly visible in the death and resurrection of Jesus which are made present to us in the mass. Reading from the Bible, the offering and receiving of the Body of Christ are all part of the great mystery of the mass.
With hearts and minds centered on this great gift we try to make it a dignified celebration.So we are grateful to those who help with the celebration: Our readers, organists, altar servers, the groups that provide the flowers, those who prepare and serve the tea after mass etc. All help but it is especially by our presence, our prayer and singing at the mass together that we allow Christ to be present and give life to each one of us and to the community of St Abraham’s as a sign of God’s Kingdom in Tehran.
The Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Every Wednesday evening for many years now we celebrate a mass with prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.Though the expression “novena” really applies to the practice of nine days of prayer, novena here refers to our weekly Wednesday mass with its traditional prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. In the past people would attend the weekly mass for 9 consecutive weeks for some particular intention. The weekly mass always had a particular following among members of the Filipino community but is now attended by the general faithful on their way home from work. The prayers to Mary are not only intercessional but are particularly striking as a reminder of what the following of Christ entails and of how Mary is the great example of Christian life. During the mass, the novena hymns are sung and the novena prayer is recited after the homily on the gospel. The focus of our weekly mass is a particular representation of Mary known as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help.”
Click here to see an article on the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Christian Art section.
The Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir
In a corner there is a shrine of the Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir. It is indeed an icon before which so many have come in prayer, an Icon which shows Our Lady looking at our world with love and compassion while indicating Jesus as our Saviour.
Click here to see an article on the Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir in the Christian Art section
On Prayer -
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