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Great Vespers, Ecumenical Prayer Service and cutting of the Vasilopita at the Mega Revma Community in Constantinople

In the afternoon of 20 January 2024, the Great Vespers of Saturday took place at the splendid Church of the Holy Archangels of the Mega Revma Community in Constantinople, as was officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia, Hierarchical Vicar of the Community. His Eminence was joined in the Vespers by the Priest of the Mega Revma Community, as well as the Priests of the neighbouring Communities of Palaios Banios, Mesachoros and Bebek.

Several parishioners attended the Vespers Service, as well as many pilgrims from different parts of Constantinople and abroad.

After Vespers, the beginning of the “Week of Prayers for Christian Unity” took place, with the honourable presence of Their Eminences, Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon and Metropolitan Theoliptos of Iconium, as well as His Eminence Archbishop of the Chaldean Roman Catholics Sabri Anar, Roman Catholic Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro and religious ministers – representatives of the other Christian denominations in Constantinople.

Both the prayers and readings from the Old and New Testaments were rendered in an extraordinary manner, in Greek, Latin, Turkish, Aramaic, Slavonic and English, by the choir of the Community, under the direction of the Grand Catechist Mr. Chrysanthos Dimitriadis.

After the opening prayer, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia spoke, who initially welcomed both the official representatives of the Christian Communities in Constantinople, as well as the large congregation, and then referred to the necessity of the unity in Christ of all those who are baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity, having as their main concern the preservation of the faith of the Holy Apostles.

Then, all together, as one large multinational Christian Family, united their prayers, asking the Lord to forgive their sins and open the way for them, which leads to the unity of faith, seeking the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Afterwards, all the distinguished guests and laity went to the adjacent Community Hall, where the ceremony of the blessing and cutting of the Vasilopita was performed by the Hierarchical Vicar of Mega Revma, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia, who was joined by the Holy Clergy of the District. The gold coin was found in the piece of the guest, Ms. Afroditi Falierou, who is soon to travel in order to study at the University of Boston.

The ceremony was honoured, in addition to the above mentioned guests, with the presence of members of the Supervisory Committees of neighbouring Communities and many faithful, who came, despite the intense winter weather.

His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia heartily congratulated the Mega Revma Community and warmly thanked both the Committee and the Philoptochos Association for all they do. These two Bodies, under the presidency of Mrs. Doras Diakrousi and Mrs. Loxandra Mais, respectively, work tirelessly and efficiently, offering their best, for the full-hearted service of the many needs of the parishioners.

This was followed, in a festive atmosphere, by a gracious reception and exchange of wishes for the new year, as well as distribution of the Community’s calendar to those who had not received it.