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Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, the Crown Jewel of Byzantine Orthodoxy in Washington DC, will be consecrated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America on May 9-10, 2015. Please join us praying for St. Sophia as they celebrate their consecration.
What is the Consecration and why does it take place?
For an Orthodox Christian salvation is union with Christ. This union with Christ is called the “Life in Christ”. The center of this “Life in Christ” is the Holy Altar, as well as the services which are related to it, i.e. the Seven Sacraments. Because the Holy Altar is so important in the life of an Orthodox Christian, the service of Consecration centers around the Holy Altar Table. In simple terms the Consecration Service is the Baptism and Chrismation of the Church.
Consecrate, meaning “to set apart and make holy for God’s Sacred Use; to devote or dedicate to God”, has its basis in scripture.
God said to Moses, Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it: consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The Consecration represents the baptism of the church as it will be ceremonially cleansed and anointed as a holy place of worship. On Saturday, May 9th, the Cathedral’s youth will celebrate the community’s diverse parish life and learn about the spiritual meaning of the Consecration service through a variety of educational activities.
In the afternoon, the holy relics or bones of three martyr Saints will arrive at the Cathedral, be prayed over during a Vespers service, and remain in the altar until their interment in the Cathedral’s altar table the following day. The relics of the three Saints to be interred include those of Saint Panteleimon, Saint Barbara and Saint Kyrikos – representing a male saint, a female saint and one of the church’s few known child saints. Saturday evening the congregation will celebrate its vibrant, 111-year history at a grand banquet at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Georgetown. On Sunday, May 10th, morning prayers (Matins) will begin at 7:45 a.m. with the Consecration service itself starting at 9:15 a.m. followed by the Divine Liturgy at 11:00 a.m. The officiating hierarchs and clergy will include His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America; His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; the Reverend Dr. Steven Zorzos, Presiding Priest of Saint Sophia Cathedral; the Reverend Dimitrios Lee, Assistant Priest of Saint Sophia Cathedral; the Reverend Dr. John Tavlarides, Presiding Priest Emeritus of Saint Sophia Cathedral; and Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos. The celebration will conclude at 1:00 p.m. where a general reception will be held on the Cathedral’s grounds.
Download Questions & Answers About The Consecration of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Download the St. Sophia Press Release
About Saint Sophia Cathedral
Saint Sophia Cathedral was originally established by Greek immigrants in 1904 making it the seventh oldest Greek Orthodox church in the United States. The community assumed its current location at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and 36th Street in 1955, and the Cathedral’s cornerstone was laid by President Dwight D. Eisenhower with His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, in 1956. Saint Sophia was elevated to the status of a Cathedral on February 18, 1955.
For more information please contact Saint Sophia Cathedral Office at 202-333-4730.
To learn more about the Consecration of St. , visit www.saintsophiadc.com/about/consecration/
By Nick Mavrick
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