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On the third Sunday of Lent in the Greek Orthodox Church, priests in parishes just like Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Fond du Lac performed the same rite — the adoration of the cross, marking the halfway point of the Lenten season with fresh flowers signifying Christ’s resurrection.
Trifon solemnly circled the altar three times holding the cross above his head as he chanted prayers, then set it down on the altar and picked up a censer containing burning incense, which he swung in a rhythmic arc as bells jingled. Then he knelt and prostrated himself three times at the altar.
Among the faithful in the pews Sunday were members of the Greek Orthodox Church in Appleton, which officially closed earlier this year and merged with the Fond du Lac church, dropping the number of Greek Orthodox Churches in Wisconsin to six.
“It’s always a sad moment to see a church close,” Trifon, who served at SS Constantine and Helen Church in Wauwatosa for 29 years, said after the service. “We do not know why things happen. But sometimes God closes one door and opens another.”
When St. Nicholas members made the difficult decision to officially close after five decades and merge with Holy Trinity in Fond du Lac, they did not want to be forgotten. So the small congregation donated $100,000 to create a digital video history of the parish to be placed at a shrine commemorating a New York City church, also called St. Nicholas, destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Click here to read the full story by of the Journal Sentinel
Photo source: the Journal Sentinel
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