Orthochristian.com – 23/5/18
The first ever Divine Liturgy within the walls of Warsaw’s new Agia Sophia Cathedral was celebrated on Saturday, reports the site of the Polish Orthodox Church.
The momentous event came after less than three years from the day of the blessing and laying of the church’s foundation stone by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Beatitude Metropolitan Sava of Warsaw and All Poland on December 5, 2015. The church is the first to be built in Warsaw in over a century.
The Liturgy was celebrated by Met. Sava, His Eminence Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk of the Moscow Patriarchate, His Grace Bishop Diodor of Yuzhnoe of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the bishops of the Polish Orthodox Church, and a great number of clergy.
The church was filled to overflowing with local faithful and pilgrims from all over Poland and abroad. The Liturgy was sung by four Polish choirs.
Clearly moved by the days’ events, Met. Sava told those gathered, “Today, standing within the walls of the building of the holy Church of Agia Sophia—God’s Wisdom—in Warsaw, we realize the truth that Divine Providence governs the world, the Church, and every one of us… Our joys and sorrows will be brought to the church, finding in it comfort and refreshment and a quiet haven.”
His Eminence then thanked all who had contributed to the building of the church, whether by their funds, or by their labor. Congratulatory addresses from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow were read out in honor of the new church’s first Divine Liturgy, as well as Met. Sava’s 80th birthday and the 20th anniversary of his appointment to the primatial throne of the Polish Church.
Following the Divine Liturgy, all the participating clergy gathered at the front of the church for the blessing of the cross that was then elevated to the top of the church’s main dome, thus marking a triumphal conclusion to a triumphant day for the clergy and faithful of the Polish Orthodox Church.