BOSTON – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America officiated at the ordination to the episcopacy of Bishop Spyridon of Amastridos at the Church of the Holy Cross in Belmont, California on Saturday November 14. His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, a dear friend of the new Bishop, traveled from London and participated in the ordination. Also present was Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco and many area clergy, as well as the family of the new Bishop because he comes from the married clergy and he has children and grandchildren. He became a widower after the death of his presvytera a few years ago. All the necessary measures for the pandemic were observed.
Archbishop Spyridon in his homily said among other things:
“My dear brother, today we gather in this Church of the Holy Cross, a Parish well known to you and served by your dear friend and collaborator, the late and ever-memorable Father Leonidas Contos. We gather before the Holy Cross of the Lord, the place par excellence of sacrificial love, to receive your offering of service in the Holy High Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“On Earth as it is in Heaven – thus we pray, and thus we believe that your beloved late Presvytera Chrisanthe joins with the Celestial Hosts and all those whose have gone before us to celebrate this moment. And with your children and grandchildren present today, to bear witness to this culmination of your lifetime of diakonia, we gather in this holy Synaxis to elevate you to the episcopal dignity.
“Together with all the Saints, we offer fervent prayers for all those who have brought you before the Holy Altar this day, whether alive in this world or the next.”
The Archbishop also said:
“Beloved Bishop-Elect Spyridon, you were known for most of your life as Spencer, an Anglicized version of your Baptismal Name. But today, your name echoes that of the Great Bishop of Trimythous (Τριμυθούντος), who is the perfect icon of a pastor and a theologian. And you are both as well, an experienced shepherd of the Flock of Christ through your many decades of parish ministry, and you are a theologian who has worked to explicate the sacred texts of our Orthodox liturgical life for the access and the understanding of the Faithful.
“Yes, you have been elected late in life, but let no one believe that it is too late, or that this is some kind of reward for your years of service. If I may exhort you with an Apostolic injunction, with one slight change:
Let no one despise your ‘seniority,’ but set for the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
The Archbishop added that “we must continue to seek the best translations for all Orthodox in the United States, faithful to the Greek original, and translations that allow all Orthodox to worship εν ενί στόματι – “with one voice,” as we pray in every Divine Liturgy.
“Bishop-Elect Spyridon,” he continued, “your vast experience and familiarity with the liturgical texts of the Church give you a distinct and enriched perspective that must be shared with all. We know the tremendous value of the original Greek language; therefore, we must provide the very best translations!”
The new Bishop thanked His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the members of the Holy Synod around him for their trust and confidence to elevate him to the bishopric rank.