As Co-ordinator of Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions in the Archdiocese, I have the pleasure of visiting and encouraging the different Ethnic communities on behalf of Archbishop Bernard Longley.

One of the most welcoming is the Eritrean Chaplaincy led by Father Solomon Tesfamichael Ghebray. The Eritreans celebrate Mass according to the Alexandrian Rite. This Rite is sub-divided into 2 groups: the Coptic Rite, used by the Coptic Catholics; and the Ge’ez Rite used by the Ethiopian and Eritrean Catholics.

According to tradition the Copts trace their lineage back to St. Mark, whereas the Ethiopians and Eritreans go back to St. Matthew and St. Bartholomew.

The Eritrean is the newest of all the Eastern Catholic Churches, established in 2015 by Pope Francis, formerly it was part of Ethiopia’s Catholic Church. This can be seen as the result of the Eritrean War of Independence which ended in 1991.

The Divine Liturgy of the Eritrean Church is both beautiful and full of life and joy: This comes through especially in the use of drums. Also, some women ululate at certain moments of the Liturgy, such as before reception of Holy Communion. This is one of the traditions particular to the Ge’ez Rite, done as an act of praise. You will hear both in this joyful recording of highlights from Father Solomon’s Silver Jubilee.

- Mgr Daniel McHugh