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The enthronement of the new Metropolitan of Nigeria

On All Saints’ Sunday, and the day of the great feast of the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles, 30 June 2024, the Enthronement Ceremony of the new Metropolitan Nicodemus of Nigeria, took place at the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Lagos.

The Hierarchical Concelebration was led by the Patriarch’s representative, His Eminence Metropolitan George of Guinea, with the participation of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicodemus of Nigeria and all the clergy of the Metropolis, and the presence of a multitude of faithful who came to express their joy and unwavering love for their new Shepherd.

During the Divine Liturgy, the cathedral’s ecclesiastical choir members performed all the hymns excellently with the original traditional melody.

After the Divine Liturgy, the Enthronement Ceremony of Metropolitan Nicodemus was conducted according to the order of the Patriarchate of Alexandria by Metropolitan George of Guinea.

The Letter from His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore II was read by the General Archpriest of the Holy Metropolis of Nigeria, Father James Nwaba.

On behalf of the Clergy of the Metropolis, the Metropolitan was addressed by Archimandrite Father Andrew Aondofa Ioraver.

Next, Metropolitan George conveyed the wishes, Patriarchal blessings, and paternal love of His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa. He emphasised that the Patriarch had sent to Nigeria a hierarch who worked diligently alongside him in Alexandria during challenging but enlightening and creative times. This hierarch had spent many years working with the Greek diaspora in Germany and South Africa. Now, in Nigeria, he will work just as hard to lead the Orthodox Church of Africa’s largest and most populous country into new days, always focusing on the faithful, the education of the youth, the schooling of young children, and the overall needs of the local community and the challenges of the times. He thanked everyone present and wished the new Metropolitan all the best.

Following this, the new Metropolitan delivered his Enthronement Address, expressing his gratitude to Patriarch Theodore II for the love he had shown him during his years of service at the Patriarchate, as Chief Secretary, as an assistant bishop, and for the great honour of his election as Metropolitan of Nigeria.

In his speech, the new Metropolitan emphasised: “I do not come as your master but as a worker in Christ’s vineyard, dedicated to preserving the spiritual continuity and building up the Orthodox people in Nigeria. With deep reverence and a sense of high duty, I succeed a hierarch of great stature, the late blessed Metropolitan Alexander, who dedicated his life to founding this Cathedral and the Mission Centre, generously supported by the Anastasios Leventis family, who continue to support the Patriarchate’s work in Nigeria to this day.”

He mentioned his late predecessor, the blessed Metropolitan Alexander, who marks one year since his passing to the Lord.

In another part of his speech, he stated, “The presence of a bishop in any Metropolis is primarily to safeguard and guarantee the apostolic succession and the spiritual continuity of the Orthodox faith in every local church. A bishop is not a secular leader; his presence has spiritual significance.”

He thanked the members of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who accepted the Patriarchal proposal with their honorable vote. Addressing the clergy and the faithful of the Metropolis of Nigeria, he specifically said, “I hope to serve you as long as God allows me.”

Metropolitan Nicodemus thanked Metropolitan George of Guinea, the locum tenens, for his collaboration over the years for the good of the Patriarchate and the Mission, but mainly for standing in as a father and brother in the challenging work of the local Church.

Present at the Divine Liturgy and the Enthronement Ceremony were the clergy of the Metropolis of Nigeria, the representative of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos and other denominations, representatives of major companies, the Anastasios Leventis Foundation, with President Anastasios Leventis, who is also the honorary high commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Nigeria, the representative of Flour Mills of Nigeria with President John Coumantaros, and Vita Constructions Ltd headed by Barnabas Barnabas, who hails from the village of Peristerona in Morphou and is a major contractor in Nigeria.

It should be noted that the entire Greek and Greek-Cypriot community was present at the Enthronement Ceremony, as well as the president and representatives from the Youth Association from all states of Nigeria, who assured the new Metropolitan that they would support and assist in his ministry.

It is worth mentioning that the Greek community in Lagos is significant for Nigeria and plays an important role in the country’s economy.

After the ceremony, a lavish meal and festive program were offered to the hundreds of guests and attendees.

In the evening, a reception followed, attended by the entire Greek community, official guests, and the clergy of the Metropolis with their families, at a well-known hotel owned by Orthodox Lebanese, who offered the reception as a gift to the new Metropolitan. Before the reception, the Metropolitan received congratulations from the King of Nigeria, Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, and had a brief conversation with him.

Source: Metropolis of Nigeria