WHITESTONE – The Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) of Christ was celebrated at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Whitestone which hosted the Transfiguration community of Corona which has yet to return to its own church building following a May 2017 fire. The celebration began with the Great Vespers service on August 5 with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos presiding over the service after His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia had to cancel at the last minute due to laryngitis, as Fr. George Anastasiou, the presiding priest of the Transfiguration community explained following the service.
Also joining Fr. Papazafiropoulos and Fr. Anastasiou were the presiding priest of the Holy Cross community Fr. Dionysios Anagnostopoulos, Fr. Chrysostomos Panos, Fr. Nicholas Samaras of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in West Nyack, NY, and Fr. Constantin Ursache from St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead.
In his speech, Fr. Papazafiropoulos spoke about the Transfiguration and its meaning, noting that what Christ revealed to His Disciples was always there, but their eyes were opened to be able to see Holy Light of Christ’s Divinity. He pointed out that the light of Christ is always bright and lit for everyone who welcomes it into their life.
Fr. Papazafiropoulos thanked Fr. Anastasiou for his invitation to preside over the service and wished everyone all the best and hoped to see everyone next year back at the Transfiguration Church in Corona to celebrate the community’s feast day.
Fr. Anastasiou thanked all the priests who joined the celebration especially Fr. Papazafiropoulos for accepting his last-minute invitation to lead the service on August 5, and Fr. Anagnostopoulos calling him the most welcoming priest in the area for opening the doors of Holy Cross to the parishioners from Corona for the celebration of the community’s feast day. He also thanked Fr. Samaras and Fr. Ursache for traveling from so far to be a part of the celebration and pointed out that Fr. Panos after having spent some time serving in Chicago was now back in the New York area as he was recently appointed as the presiding priest for one of the oldest communities in New York City, St. Eleftherios in Manhattan which was established in 1918.
Fr. Anastasiou wished him all the best in his new post and wished all the best to everyone in attendance. He invited everyone to attend the reception in the church hall with coffee and sweets after the vespers service and also to the following morning’s Divine Liturgy on the Feast Day of the Transfiguration, August 6 which was followed by a luncheon of baccaliero and skordalia provided for free by the Corona community.
His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia presided over the service on August 6.