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The faithful attended the Service of the Holy Passion of Christ on Holy Thursday, April 21, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Union, NJ. Photo: TNH/ Michalis Kakias
UNION, NJ – The Service of the Holy Passion of Christ was held on Holy Thursday, April 21, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Union, NJ.
Presiding priest of the community Fr. Peter Souritzidis spoke to The National Herald about the importance of the day, emphasizing that on Holy Thursday we celebrate the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the 12 Apostles, the Holy Niptiras, this extraordinary prayer and the betrayal.
He added: “The Twelve Gospels describe Jesus’ journey to Golgotha throughout Holy Thursday. The Last Supper, the tears and human weakness in the Garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal by Judas, His arrest, His trial, His torture, His Crucifixion. The Lord is on the Cross for each of us and all people and lifts the weight of our sins by giving us the remission of sins and giving us space in his kingdom and eternal life. Today, a large number of believers came to our church and participated in prayer, listening reverently to the Twelve Gospels and experiencing through the all-night hymns and troparions those dramatic events of the Passion of the Lord that took place for our salvation, at the end worshiping the Crucified Christ. I wish a good and blessed Resurrection to everyone.”
Parish Council President Vasiliki (Betty) Spyropoulos expressed her joy that the church of St. Demetrios is operating again with the participation of the faithful in person, and wished a Happy Easter to all. She also invited everyone to the parish festival that will be held September 8-11.
The lead chanter, George Orfanakos, said that the hymns of the day and the participation of the faithful give a special and unique note to the all-encompassing atmosphere of the Passion and wished the Resurrection of Christ to bring the inner Resurrection for each person individually.
Ilias Koukoutsas spoke to TNH about the new base for the Epitafio that he built together with Michael Drivas.
He told TNH that “it is a tall wooden structure with legs and a carved canopy, as well as electric sockets for the installation of lights. It is the least we can do to help our beloved church. We hope that tomorrow, Good Friday, will have good weather so that the procession of the Epitafio will take place with the participation of many of the faithful.”
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