"In the twelve passages from the four sacred Gospels that were read today, we see Christ anguished, betrayed, arrested, abandoned by His disciples, imprisoned, mocked, slapped, flogged, judged – and carrying the heavy cross. To be crucified. To die."
The sermons of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America are a blessing – and an important contribution to our readers.
On the one hand, he is given the opportunity to address a large audience of Greek-Americans, but also an international audience of Greeks. And, on the other hand, it offers an opportunity to our readers to study and be inspired by texts of a theological and spiritual level that are hard to find today.
It has become almost a tradition for the Archbishop of America to preach during Holy Week through the pages of The National Herald.
The tradition began with the late Archbishop Iakovos, who wrote exclusively for TNH for a number of years.
Undoubtedly, those sermons were masterpieces – he knew how to write and express himself.
It was continued, from time to time, by the succeeding Archbishops, Spyridon, as well as Demetrios, in articles that were also written exclusively for TNH.
The natural evolution, however, was from Iakovos to Elpidophoros. As in so many other subjects, Elpidophoros has the ability to analyze and present difficult concepts and issues and to make them understandable to everyone, such as the events of the history of Christianity that are recounted during the Holy Week and Resurrection services.
The sermons of Elpidophoros open a gateway into the human soul to the sequence of Christ's life, from the glory of Palm Sunday to the betrayal, insults, and abandonment of his disciples, to the crucifixion, to death – and finally to the Resurrection.
He presents them in such a vivid, understandable, and convincing way that you participate in them. It’s almost like he is speaking to you specifically, like he is sitting right next to you. No matter how far away someone is – for example, at the moment, I am in Greece - it’s like he is speaking to you.
The titles of his sermons alone, as published in the newspaper, express the whole sequence of events and share with us the whole truth:
Palm Sunday: The glorious entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem.
Holy Monday: Behold the Bridegroom is coming.
Great Tuesday: Great is repentance.
Holy Wednesday: Humiliation.
Holy Thursday: The sacrifice of love
Good Friday: Life is immortal.
Easter Sunday: Christ is Risen!
He writes: "The human mind cannot contain the resurrection event. The heart is flooded with the joy of the glorious Resurrection. This day is the beginning and the end of our faith and our liturgical year. Everything in our Church revolves around the Resurrection. The Resurrection is our strength and expectation, the victory and the boast of all Christians."
I wish you with all my heart: Kalo Pasha! Kali Anastasi!