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Second Salutations Service at the Church of Sts Constantine and Helene in Western Australia

On Friday evening the 18th of March, His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea Presided over the second Salutations Service to the Theotokos at the Church of Sts Constantine and Helene in Perth WA.

During the service, His Grace gave a sermon in which he discussed the various aspects and themes of the Salutations. He discussed the fact that the Salutations service was composed by St Romanos the Melodist, who was a central early figure in the history of Byzantine music from the 6th century and is called “the Pindar of rhythmic poetry”.

His Grace also discussed the importance of the Salutations to the Lenten period as they are the means by which the Church celebrates the fore-feast and after-feast of the great Feast Day of the Annunciation, which always falls in Lent. All the major feast days of the Lord and the Theotokos which are celebrated throughout the year (for example Epiphany, the Nativity of Christ, the Transfiguration, the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple and so forth) are always characterised by a fore-feast, usually the day(s) before in preparation for the feast day, and an after-feast, which goes on for a week or more sometimes. The significance of the fore-feast and after-feast of major feast days sets them apart in the life of the Church and the life of the faithful as significant salvific events to be celebrated for more than one day.

However, as the feast of the Annunciation falls during Lent, it is generally limited to a one-day feast day celebration, despite the significance of the feast for the life of the Church. Therefore, in order to properly celebrate the great feast day, the Salutations services, held every Friday evening throughout Lent, are placed accordingly that they might imbue the entire Lenten period with a unique celebration of the Annunciation and the Theotokos.

Finally, His Grace announced that with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the Archdiocesan District of Perth will be hosting a special event for the three year memorial anniversary of the late Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis.

The programme will include a Trisagion Service Presided by His Grace and assisted by all clergy at the Church of St Nektarios in the evening of Saturday the 26th of March. This will be followed by the screening of the documentary, “An opal of many colours” which will talk about the life, work and personality of Archbishop Stylianos. At the conclusion of the night cocktail drinks will be served by the central philoptohos of St Tabitha.

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