1,700th anniversary of Emperor Constantine
YORK - 21 July 2006 - 470 words
York to celebrate 1,700th anniversary of Emperor Constantine
The City of York will commemorate the 1,700th anniversary of the proclamation of Constantine as Roman Emperor next Tuesday, July 25.
A service will take place at York Minster, hosted by the Chapter, and it will be attended by the Archbishop of York and representatives of the other Christian traditions. They will give thanks for Constantine, and pray for the unity of the Church.
The public service will be followed by a colourful and noisy procession through the city by more than 100 students and school children with a chariot pulled by a goose, panther dancers and giant puppets. Roman soldiers will lead the way to the Museum Gardens where more events will take place including the flight of a golden eagle.
The event has been organised by York St John University College, York Museum Trust and York Minster.
The Dean of York, the Very Revd Keith Jones said, "Here under the central tower of York Minster we will celebrate an event of momentous importance. When the troops proclaimed Constantine as their Augustus, possibly at this very place, they cannot have known that this young leader would within a few years have made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. Still less can they have suspected how from this date the Christian faith would leave its mark on the institutions, monuments, and lifestyle of the world. Constantine is one of the most intriguing people in history, and his story can be said to have started in York."
The service is at 3pm and will be attended by the Most Reverend & Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, and the Orthodox Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, His Eminence Gregorios the Episcopal Vicar of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesborough, the Chairman of Churches Together in the North Yorkshire Moors and Chairman of York and Hull Methodist District along with the Chairman of Churches Together in York, the United Reformed Church and Ampleforth Abbey. It will last around 20 minutes and the procession will commence from the Minster shortly afterwards. The Archbishop will start off proceedings to the sound of horns and with Roman soldiers standing guard.
The procession will then make its way to the Museum Gardens, changing as it passes staging posts and performance areas. The street performers will be doing a combination of dance, physical theatre and puppetry, drawing on Pre Roman English and Pagan traditions. It will be colourful, noisy and have an inclusive carnival feel, bringing replicas of artefacts from the Yorkshire Museum's exhibition on Constantine into the streets.
Once in the Museum Gardens the celebrations will continue with a grand finale which will be a thought provoking event looking at Constantine's legacy. Postcard coins, that the public have written on to respond to Constantine, will be displayed as part of the final performance.
Source: York Minster
© Independent Catholic News 2006
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