Representing Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos presided over Holy Week and Great and Holy Pascha (Easter) at the Holy Cross Chapel, Hellenic Holy Cross College.
Prof. Michael Kouremetis, Dean of Students, and the seminarians piously celebrated every service, every day, from dawn to dusk. The melodic chanting of the students filled the chapel, like the angels before the throne of God. The zeal of students and seminarians to read and sing the full traditional services, no matter how long, was something to admire.
Archbishop Elpidophoros’ archbishop’s encyclical for the great and holy Easter was read just before the resurrection by his bishop-designate Athenagoras. The Archbishop’s powerful words filled everyone’s hearts in preparation for the miraculous moment of the Light of Christ. He said, “Let us honor [Christ’s] journey from Heaven to earth, from earth to Hades, and back for our salvation. Let us embrace each other with love and compassion, forgetting no one and forgiving all. As midnight struck, the sincere song of Christ rose, and the tinkling of bells and holy light filled the campus. Profession that Christ is risen was joyfully transmitted in Greek, English, Slavic, Romanian, Arabic and German by Bishop Athenagoras and the faithful.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Patriarchal Easter Encyclical for his faithful around the world was read at the appropriate Vespers of Love service by his Auxiliary Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos. The words of His All Holiness perfectly translated the journey towards the Great and Holy Easter. He said: “Having run the race of ascetic struggles during the Holy and Great Lent and compunsively experienced the venerable Passion of the Lord, we are now filled with the eternal light of His splendid Resurrection, wherefore we praise and let us glorify His transcendent name, exclaiming the joyful message to the whole world: Christ is risen!
Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America