Bishop Mouneer’s Reflection on Christmas Eve in the Largest Cathedral in the Middle East

Christmas Eve in the Largest Cathedral in the Middle East

Pope Tawedrous II and President Sisi shake hands, inaugurating the new Cathedral.
(Photo: EPA)

On 6 January, I participated in a truly historic day here in Egypt. President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi simultaneously inaugurated the largest cathedral in the Middle East and one of the largest mosques in the region in the new Administrative Capital, just east of Cairo. This was a remarkable event, an obvious statement of solidarity, and something which has never happened before. These two buildings, opened on the same day in the same city, will allow Egyptians, both Christian and Muslim, to worship peacefully in their houses of prayer.

The Beautiful new Cathedral of the Nativity (Photo:AFP)

It was Christmas Eve for the Orthodox Church, and I attended the midnight mass in the new Cathedral of the Nativity. Large and beautiful, this cathedral was a magnificent place to celebrate Christmas with my Orthodox brothers and sisters. There was a spirit of joy and celebration amongst those in attendance, and I was struck that, in this moment, I was participating in both the present and the future of Egypt at the very same time.

The cathedral (as well as the mosque) was not only opened by President Sisi, it was built with the support and funding of the government. This action, as well as the President’s opening address, are a clear message that he seeks to promote citizenship for all people here. In his opening address he said, “We are one and we will remain one.” He is keen, I can tell, to promote the religious values of peace and love, and for this I have great respect.

They say that actions speak louder than works, and these actions of support give me the feeling that we are restoring the beautiful Egypt in which we once lived. We are one step closer to restoring the tolerant culture that Egypt has known for centuries. Only through loving our neighbors, seeking to understand them, and working together for a better future, will we achieve this beautiful Egypt we once knew.

+ Mouneer Hanna Anis

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
 

This Saturday: Annual Christmas Concert!

Please join us this Saturday, 22 December, at 7:00pm as we celebrate Christmas with our Annual Christmas Concert! Click here to see the Facebook event for details.

The concert will be held in All Saints Cathedral, Zamalek, Cairo, located behind the Marriott Hotel.

 

Christmas Carols Concert

On Thursday, December 28, the All Saints Cathedral choir hosted a Christmas carols concert. This concert was free and open to the public.  About 100 people attended, including many children. The audience enjoyed a selection of Christmas carols and beautiful music from our talented choir. Bishop Mouneer gave a brief address, and different members of the choir took turns speaking throughout the concert. During some of the songs, children from the deaf school joined the choir on stage, and signed along to the music. At the end, Santa Claus came to give presents to the children in the audience.

To view the live stream of the concert, visit the link here.

Christmas Eve Service at All Saints Cathedral

On Christmas Eve, the Diocese of Egypt hosted its annual Christmas Eve service at All Saints Cathedral in Zamalek, Cairo. The service began at 10:30pm and ended after midnight. The service was well attended by a diverse group of guests. The Arabic and Sudanese choirs sang traditional Christmas songs both in Arabic and in English. Many of the Anglican clergy in Egypt were present, and read different passages of scripture and liturgy. Bishop Mouneer gave a special Christmas sermon. He reminded attendees to follow Christ and reflect His love, especially during this season of celebrating the birth of Jesus. He prayed for the safety of Egypt, and for those who lost family members because of violence this year.

Many journalists attended the Christmas Eve service. You can read what one of them wrote about the service here.

To view the live video of the service, visit here and here.

For more videos, pictures, and other information, visit the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa’s Facebook page.

Cairo Mission Unity Group Visits Deaf School

This Christmas Eve, the Cairo Mission Unity group visited the Deaf School in Old Cairo. The group came all the way from Myanmar. They received a tour of the school, attended some of the classes, and ate lunch with the students. They celebrated and sang Christmas carols, and had a good time of Christian fellowship with the children and the staff.

Christmas Carols Concert

The All Saints Cathedral Choir will be hosting a Christmas carols concert in All Saints Cathedral on Thursday, December 28. The concert will begin at 7:00pm. The concert is family friendly, and will feature traditional Christmas carols sung by groups of children and adults, both in Arabic and in English. Admission is free. There will be fun activities geared toward kids, and Santa Claus will be there to distribute gifts to children. Please pray that this concert would be a success, and through it we would reflect God’s love and peace during this Christmas season. Please join us! We look forward to having you there.

Christmas Services at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, along with the clergy and congregations of All Saints Cathedral, Cairo, would like to invite you to their Christmas services and events.

  • Its A Wonderful Life (Saturday 14 December at 6pm)
  • A Broadway Christmas (Friday 20 December at 8pm)
  • Christingle children’s Service (Monday 23 December at 6pm)
  • Christmas Eve Service (Tuesday 24 December at 10:30pm)
  • Christmas Day Service (Wednesday 25 December at 10:30am)
  • New Year’s Eve Service (Tuesday 31 December at 10pm)

For more information, please contact Rev. Drew Schmotzer at chaplainegypt@gmail.com

All Saints Cathedral is located at 5 Michel Lutfallah Street, Zamalek, Cairo 11211 (behind the Marriott Hotel).

 

A Broadway Christmas

On Friday 20 December 2013, All Saints Cathedral will host “A Broadway Christmas” which will include musical highlights from Broadway shows like West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, The Sound of Music, Once, Mama Mia and My Fair Lady, as well as Christmas carols.   This event will be Directed by Ms. Dalia Farid Fadel and will feature Nesma Mahgoub, Hany Mustafa, Steven Labat, Therese Ananian, Rita Ashkar, Sherif Rizkallah, Nora Ghobrial, Hilary Baboukis, Marc Wakim, Amira Reda, Lily Farid, and introducing young talent Yousef Shabana.  Tickets will cost 50 LE and may be purchased at All Saints Cathedral.  All proceeds will go to support the education of disadvantaged preschool children.  The event is in cooperation with Global Strategic Consultants and Fabrica.  A Broadway Christmas (20 December 2013 at 8pm)

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