Wednesday, January 25, 2012

St. Gregory's Liturgy in London

Yesterday marked a unique and in many ways a historic event, where by at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of All Saints, London, we celebrated the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Theologian. This Liturgy is not normally celebrated within the Greek Orthodox World under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, however it is a valid Orthodox Liturgy, celebrated by other Patriarchal Churches. 


This Idea was born by certain members of the Archdiocese who wished to celebrate this 'different' Liturgy in order to explore other Liturgies within our ecclesiastical tradition. Nevertheless it also was a good chance to celebrate it and honour Archbishop Grigorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, who's nameday is today. 



However the one issue we had was that no one within our Archdiocese had ever celebrated this Liturgy, hence we had to revise the numerous texts we could find from the U.K., Greece and Cyprus and we had to 'practice' the Liturgy, in order to know what, how and when to say the certain hymns and blessings.


The Liturgy was celebrated yesterday by Fr. Vassilios Papavassiliou (All Saints Church), Fr. Christodoulos Christodoulou (St. Nektarios Church), Fr. Savvas David Vasileiadis (St. Sophia Church) and Deacon Pavlos Lambrou (St. Demetrios Church). The chanters who chanted at this unique occasion where Alexandros Procopiou (Protopsaltis at the Twelve Apostles Church), Stefanos Thomaidis (Protopsaltis at St. Sophia Church) and Dimitrios Salapatas (Lampadarios at All Saints Church). 


Of course many more priests from all over the United Kingdom came to view and be part of the Liturgy, since it is a once in a lifetime occasion for many. Also Fr. Zacharias from the Monastery in Essex was present.


The Liturgy of St. Gregory also included an inspiring homily by Archbishop Grigorios. What astonished many was the fact that he referred to the chanters as being the backbone of the Orthodox Church, since they are a big part of the liturgical life of the Church. 


The Liturgy's epilogue was given by Fr. George Zafeirakos, the priest in charge of All Saints Cathedral, who on behalf of all the clergy, the chanters, the church committee and the congregation, gave a wonderful icon to Archbishop Grigorios. The gift was icon-painted by the same icon painter (George Tsatsiadis) from Thessaloniki, who painted the fabulous icons placed within All Saints Cathedral. 


A wish of many is for this occasion to be an annual one. The success of this Liturgy has made all of us wish to celebrate the other Liturgies within the Orthodox tradition, i.e. The Liturgy of St. Mark, St. James and many more. I personally would like to thank everyone involved in this celebration, i.e. the priests and chanters stated above. Also a big thank you has to go to Fr. Vassilios Papavassiliou for initiating this whole event and Fr. Savvas Vasileiadis, who wrote, in digital form, the text of the Liturgy, after many of us concluded in the final form of the Liturgy.

8 comments:

  1. Congratulations! That was an excellent idea!

    Many Happy Returns to His Eminence on His Name Day!

    I’d like to invite my Fellow - Priests and the talented Chanters to celebrate this interesting Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory the Theologian next year (2013) at our Church in Harrow - NW London.

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    1. Maybe if there could be two per year one in greek another in english :-)

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    2. That would be a good idea..However, we need someone to translate the text in English. Nevertheless, the next one will be at St. Panteleimon Church, Harrow - 23rd January..!

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  2. Thank you for the comment. Yes I do think it would be a good idea that next year we celebrate this Liturgy in another church, and why not in St. Panteleimon.

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  3. Hi Demetrifs. I have an audio recording of the entire liturgy if you would like a copy - it's in two files one of 1 hour (6mb) and one of 20 minutes (2mb). It's nice and clear all in all. Please let me know and I'll email it to you. It was a lovely service thank you for the blog and photos.

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  4. @ Pavlos, Thank you for your comment! Yes I would love the recordings, since I forgot my recorder. My email is demetrifs1@yahoo.com.

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  5. Is there any chance you would be willing to email a copy of the text of this liturgy?

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  6. Dear Fr. Andrew. Please see your email.

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