BOSTON – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America made his first archpastoral visit to the St. George parish in New Britain, CT, where he was warmly welcomed by its presiding priest Fr. Constantine Makrinos, the parish council, the youth, and the faithful.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy the Archbishop tortured two faithful boys, Panagiotis and Alexandros, as Lay Readers of the parish, while the congregation was exclaiming ‘AXIOI – Worthy’. The Archbishop told the congregation that “from these young men the new leadership of the parish will come.”
The Readers assist the priest in the Altar and recite the Epistle and other readings.
The Archbishop congratulated Fr. Constantine Makrinos, the chanter who chant the hymns so melodically, the Parish Council, and the Philoptochos.
His Eminence, in his sermon said among other things: “I am truly delighted to be with you today, at this wonderful parish in New Britain, dedicated to the Τροπαιοφόρος and Great-Martyr George. We call him Τροπαιοφόρος, because he did not hesitate to take up that Trophy, which is the Precious and Life-giving Cross of our Savior Christ. He is a living illustration to the Church for all time of the words we read in the Gospel this day: “If you want to follow Me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros blesses the congregation of St. George in New Britain during the Small Entrance. (Photos by GOA/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS)
The Archbishop also said to the congregation, “as you all know, Saint George was a great military commander of the Roman Empire, in the days leading up to the conversion of Saint Constantine. But those same days knew some of the worst persecutions, as the Empire were roiled with struggles for earthly power. Even though he was a soldier of an earthly king, George knew that he was much more than that. He was the servant of a heavenly king. As a soldier, he knew well the meaning of our Lord’s words that we heard today: “For if your only desire is to save your life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for My sake and the sake of the Gospel, you will save it.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros with the two new Lay Readers, Panagiotis and Alexandros. Shown is Fr. Constantine Makrinos. (Photo by GOA/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS)
The Archbishop continued, saying “no soldier worthy of his station enters combat with the exclusive notion to survive the battle. He risks his life for the cause! And the cause for Saint George throughout his life was nothing else but our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Gospel. He looked beyond the battlefields of this world to the eternal realms of glory. The τρόπαιον, the trophy in his heart, was the Cross of Christ.”