Ecumenical Vigil for Synod of Synodality

An ecumenical prayer vigil in the Lovat Chapel Yass marked the commencement of the Synod on Synodality in Rome this month.

Organiser Paul Trezise said the vigil, hosted by St Augustine’s Parish on 1 October, was held in response to Pope Francis’ call for the worldwide Christian community to join in prayer for the success of the synod.

“The Yass Valley was one of 200 communities around the world including 13 in Australia that participated in Together: Gathering of the People of God,” he said.

“On the evening of 30 September Pope Francis attended the prayer vigil that was held in St Peter’s Square Rome and organised by the Taizé Community at his request. The service consisted of bible readings, prayers of intersession, the songs of Taizé and a period of silence.”

In his homily Pope Francis reflected on the importance of silence in the life of the believer, in the life of the Church and in the journey of Christian unity.

“In common prayer we ask to learn again to be silent: to listen to the voice of the Father, the call of Jesus and the groaning of the Spirit,” he said.

“Let us ask that the Synod be a kairós of fraternity, a place where the Holy Spirit will purify the Church from gossip, ideologies and polarisation”.

Mr Trezise said the Yass Valley vigil used the same readings, intercessions and songs as the service in Rome.

“This helped us to feel truly united in prayer with the whole People of God on this important occasion,” he said.

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“In the true spirit of ecumenism, worshippers from many of the Christian churches in Yass, as well as some from Canberra, participated in the service.”

Mr Trezise said the Synod on Synodality was a very important occasion for the Catholic Church.

“It is arguably the most significant synod since Vatican II,” he said.

“For this reason Pope Francis asked all Christians around the world to join with him in prayer at the commencement of the synod to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

With the vigil described as “welcoming’ and “uplifting”, Mr Trezise said he had been moved by the “simple but beautiful Taizé songs.”

“They bring back very happy memories of when I visited the community in 2018,” he said.

“I hope that those who attended were informed that the Synod was happening and inspired to find out more about it. I also hope that at least some might find the form of prayer used at the vigil helpful to their spiritual development and a useful supplement to their usual Catholic/Christian liturgies.”