Brookline, MA — Representing Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos presided over Holy Week and Great and Holy Pascha at the Holy Cross Chapel, at Hellenic College Holy Cross. Rev. Fr. Michael Kouremetis, Dean of Students, and the seminarians piously celebrated every service, every day, from dawn to dusk. The melodic chanting of the students filled the Chapel, like the angels before the throne of God. The zealousness of the students and seminarians to read and chant the complete traditional services, no matter the duration, was something to marvel at.
Archbishop Elpidophoros’ Archiepiscopal Encyclical for Great and Holy Pascha was read just before the Resurrection by His designate Bishop Athenagoras. The powerful words of the Archbishop filled everyone’s hearts in preparation for the miraculous moment of the Light of Christ. He said, “Let us honor [Christ’s] journey from Heaven to earth, from earth to Hades, and back again for our salvation. Let us embrace one another with love and compassion, forgetting no one and forgiving everyone.” When midnight struck, the heartfelt chanting of Christ is risen, the ringing of the bells, and the holy light filled the campus. Professing that Christ is risen was joyfully conveyed in Greek, English, Slavic, Romanian, Arabic, and German by Bishop Athenagoras and the faithful.
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Patriarchal Encyclical for Pascha, for His faithful worldwide, was read during the fitting service of the Vespers of Love by His Auxiliary Bishop Athenagoras. His All-Holiness’ words perfectly conveyed the journey to Great and Holy Pascha. He said, “Having run the race of ascetic struggles during Holy and Great Lent and experienced with compunction the venerable Passion of the Lord, we are now filled with the eternal light of His splendid Resurrection, wherefore we praise and glorify His transcendent name, exclaiming the joyful message to the whole world: Christ is Risen!”