Church of Serbia – March 2017
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America – New York, March 5th 2017
His Eminence, Geron Archbishop Demetrios (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America-Ecumenical Patriarchate), Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America invited hierarchs of the Assemblyto concelebrate at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan.
Joining His Eminence in concelebrating were, Their Eminences Metropolitan Evangelos (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America-Ecumenical Patriarchate), Archbishop Daniel (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America-Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Archbishop Melchizedek (Orthodox Church in America); Their Graces Bishop Irinej (Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America-Serbian Patriarchate), Bishop John (Moscow Patriarchate), with Bishop Andonios and Bishop Sevastianos (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America-Ecumenical Patriarchate).
Joining in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy among the clergy were Archimandrite Fr Nathanael Symeonides (Assembly Committee Liaison for Canonical Affairs, Church and Society, Ecumenical Relations, Military Chaplaincy) Protopresbyter Fr. John Jillions (Chancellor, Orthodox Church in America), accompanying His Eminence Archbishop Melchizedek, Protopresbyter Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic (Chancellor, Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America), accompanying His Grace Bishop Irinej, Protopresbyter Fr. John Vlahos (Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral Dean), together with Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos, Deacon Eleftherios Constantine and Deacon Philotheos Tomczewski (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America-Ecumenical Patriarchate), Deacon Mark Rashkov (Moscow Patriarchate) and others.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios toward the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy spoke eloquently about the significance of essential Eucharistic unity, communing together as the One Body of Christ, manifest through this concelebration of hierarchs and representatives from our canonical Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States of America. His words were echoed by His Grace Bishop John, Second Vice Chairman of the Assembly, along with gratitude to Archbishop Demetrios for gathering the plentitude of Orthodoxy from the various traditions as one around the Lord’s Table.
Immediately prior to the dismissal, during the chanting of the Troparion of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the clergy, led by the altar servers and followed by the Cathedral School children bearing icons processed around the interior of the Cathedral, celebrating the Rite of Orthodoxy culminating in the common reading of the Synodicon of Orthodoxy and the chanting of the Great Prokeimenon, “Who is so great a god as Our God. . .” giving glory to God Almighty for the restoration of icons and in remembrance of the first such triumphant procession led by Empress Theodora and her minor son, Emperor Michael III, together with the aged Patriarch Methodios on Sunday, March 11th, 843 in Constantinople. That very procession continues to our day in proclaiming the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
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DIMITRIOS S. PANAGOS