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Pomeyrol community. A reunion for the « Transfiguration » service

24 juin 2019

Each summer in early August a unique oecumenical retreat takes place in Saint-Etienne du Grès (13)

St Gabriel Chapel welcomes the celebration of
the Transfiguration@Wikimedia

From August 1 to 6 Protestants, Orthodox and Catholics alike make their way together toward the final celebration on August 6, as if climbing to mount Tabor.  For to our orthodox brothers and sisters, the Transfiguration is one of the main Christian feasts (cf. Mark 9, 2-10 and synoptics).  Jesus is transfigured on mount Tabor ; envelopped by a cloud of light he reveals his divine nature.  He appears as one who carried out  the Law and the Prophets while conversing with Moses et Eliah.  After the second World War the orthodox theologians (Paul Evdokimov, Vladimir Lossky and others sprung from the Russian migrations, such as Olivier Clément)  had started to spread their thinking and spirituality in the most easily comprehended Western categories.  The oecumenical movement began to thrive and Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox became closely linked.  Orthodox and Protestants wove tight bonds in France as can be witnessed in some of the dialogues from this period. And let us not forget the work of father Cyrille Argenti...

And so the elders and founding members of this movement were reunited at Pomeyrol, to the sound of locusts singing.  Little by little the group came to include young bachelors, couples and families already familiar with the Nimes oecumenical sessions organized in the early years of 2000 for students of all religious confessions. A time of reunion ?  Spiritual holidays mixing family clans and friends?At times three generations came together over a chosen theme, learning about « tropaire », « kondakion » and old hymns sung in 4-voice harmony for the final celebration, all the while praying with the sisters in the morning, noon and evening. Meals and cocktails were shared ; many played with the children and spoke at length about their differences and mutual discoveries. to the point where they took part in each other's celebrations. without confusion or transgressive feelings.  « Transfigured on the mountain, Christ our Lord... » The joyful « tropaire » will remain in our memories for a long time to come.

Gill Daudé
Pasteur à Aix en Provence