News & Media

April 29 and 30, 2014
The 3rd Liturgical Symposium: “Lent and the Liturgy”

Under the High patronage of His Beatitude, Card. Mar Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, the Department of Liturgy at the Faculty of Religious and Oriental Sciences of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) organized the 3rd Liturgical Symposium under the title “Lent and the Liturgy”. The General Patriarchal Vicar, Bishop Joseph Mouawad, attended the event representing Card. Rai, along with the President of the Liturgical Patriarchal Committee, Bishop Youssef Souaif, Vicar General of the Lebanese Maronite Order, Rev. Fr. Emile Akiki, Assistants Genera, Rev. Fr. Nehmatallah Hachem and Rev. Fr. Ayoub Chehwan, the President of USEK, Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz, the Dean of the Faculty of Religious and Oriental Sciences, Rev. Fr. Ziad Sakr, and priests, nuns and members of the University Council.

Rev. Fr. Sakr inaugurated the Symposium and said: “The subject of our third conference is Lent from a liturgical point of view, including its core, meanings and purposes. Lent is not only related to food and beverage, but also it is a liturgical celebration. Despite the differences of its ways, liturgies and dates, it is still the path leading us to Easter and helping us to meet with the risen Jesus Christ, who triumphed against death and sin. Lent is also a sacred period enabling us from understanding the truth about the history of salvation.”

The University President, Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz indicated: “This conference is a part of the scientific reasoning of the Institute of Liturgy, and it goes in line with a series of conferences organized during the years. I am very happy to announce that we are getting ready to organize an international conference about Syriac and Arab studies, in February 2015. This way, this Faculty confirms, once again, that it is keen on preserving the Levantine Syriac and Maronite heritage, and on preserving its scientific approach.”

At the end of the inauguration session, the representative of Patriarch Rai took the floor and declared: “Through this conference, the University and the Institute are fulfilling an ecclesial and cultural mission, since it contributes to raising awareness on the importance of Lent in the liturgical year.” He pointed out that “Lent has two main dimensions linked to the historical practice, and adding fasting to its spiritual and liturgical meaning… these dimensions are seeking forgiveness and baptism…”

The Symposium extended on two days and tackled Lent from all its aspects with specialists and experts in this field.

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