MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, visited St. George Greek Orthodox Church in St. Paul and St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis on Sunday, Apr. 9, to celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week for Eastern Orthodox followers worldwide.
Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday marking the last entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem before his crucifixion, consists of numerous services each day. Each focuses on particular events recounted in the New Testament regarding that final week, the highlights being ornate ceremonies and rituals marking Christ’s Passion (Thursday evening), Crucifixion and Burial (Good Friday) and culminating in the midnight Resurrection Service on Eastern Sunday morning. Orthodox Christians commonly use the word Pascha, a Hellenized form of the Hebrew meaning “Passover” to refer to this holiday, the most splendidly celebrated of the year.
On a day that earlier witnessed a terrorist attack during Palm Sunday services at a Coptic Orthodox Church north of Cairo, Egypt, his Grace Bishop Demetrios took a powerful and heart-felt moment during his morning sermon to speak about the ongoing atrocities that is the Genocide by ISIS of the Christian minority population of the Middle East. His Grace has a lengthy record of calling attention to and demanding an end to these barbaric crimes against humanity.
Following Sunday morning services at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in St Paul, his Grace joined Father Rick Andrew visited retired Metropolis of Chicago priest Father Ted Filandrinos. No longer able to easily attend Orthodox services, Fr. Ted received Holy Communion from Bishop Demetrios and shared a lighthearted conversation with his longtime friend and outstanding servant to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago.
Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos serves as the Chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago (equivalent to a Roman Catholic Vicar General), under the leadership of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. He regularly travels throughout the Metropolis of Chicago to visit most of the parishes annually.
He has received nationwide recognition for his human rights activities and interfaith outreach, including his leadership in ending the death penalty in Illinois, state resolutions calling for religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and just recently last year, an official recognition by the United States of the genocide by ISIS against the Christian minority population of Syria and Iraq.
Eastern Orthodox Christians are the second largest Christian denomination worldwide. The Metropolis of Chicago oversees all Greek Orthodox parishes within Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, as well as large portions of Missouri and Indiana.
You can find more information on His Grace Bishop Demetrios and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago online: www.chicago.goarch.org.
Complete listings of all Holy Week Services are available for St. George Greek Orthodox Church in St. Paul at www.StGeorgeGOC.org and St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis at www.StMarysGOC.org.