Various parishes throughout Baghdad have gathered together for the offering of the Holy Eucharist in a show of unity and dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ, despite the constant fear of terrorist threat.
The joint service, held on 10 June at St Zaia Church, featured Holy Eucharist offered by Rev. Shmoel Atniel, parish priest of St Qardagh Church.
Also present were Rev. Oraha Dinkha, parish priest of St Zaia Church and Rev, Yosip Gewargis, parish priest of St Mary Church.
Rev. Oraha warmly welcomed his brother in priesthood Rev. Shmoel and all those present from the neighbouring parishes.
This gathering and celebration of the Holy Eucharist sets a strong example in expressing the love and dedication had by faithful of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East.
At a time of unrest, parishioners still gather to worship, despite never forgetting that a sister church’s building of the Chaldean Catholic Church was completely destroyed 200 meters away less than a year ago.
Rev. Shmoel delivered a strong message in his sermon, offering comfort to those present.
Christ has not left us, Rev. Shmoel said, but rather has drawn us closer to Him in times of terror and need. Forsaking the Lord at this time is the foolish thing to do because only He has our salvations in His hand.
Following the offering of the Holy Eucharist, the faithful had breakfast and fellowshipped together in love and compassion.
However, instead of heading back to their homes, many faithful remained on the church grounds cleaning the building inside and out, suggesting they are ready for all spiritual services the church has to offer and will not stay away.
“These are the same individuals that have lost families, work, homes and more. Yet they remain strong in the Lord for the Lord will give them comfort,” said Rev. Oraha.[nggallery id=214]