The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was celebrated at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in an atmosphere filled with solemnity. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided in Chorostasia during the Divine Liturgy that took place today, Saturday, September 14, along with the Metropolitans Chrysostomos of Myra, Theoleptos of Iconium, Stephanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Athenagoras of Kydonies, and Bartholomew of Smyrna.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated, according to the order, by the Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Archimandrite Ioakeim, and the Undersecretary, Deacon Gregorios.
After the service of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, His All-Holiness distributed flowers and basil to the Hierarchs, Clergy and the Archons who presented themselves to venerate; after the dismissal, the basil was distributed to all the faithful.
Present were clergymen, Archons, and the participants in the Conference that was co-organized by the Theology Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Theological School of Halki completed yesterday, as well as many faithful from Constantinople and abroad.
Yesterday, on the eve of the feast, His All-Holiness celebrated Vespers at the Holy Church of St. Nicholas Topkapi.
This afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch departs for Athens, from which he will go to Rome tomorrow.
The Divine Sermon was preached by the Grand Preacher (Hieorkiryx), Panaretos.
After the Great Vespers, Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria, Overseer of the Ypsomatheia District, presented an address to His All-Holiness in the Community Hall. He spoke on the importance of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, on the Mother Church’s way of the Cross and Her sacrificial offering, and the spiritual work of the community of the Sacred Church of St. Nicholas. In his response, His All-Holiness, among other matters, congratulated Metropolitan Maximos and the members of the Community’s Board of Trustees for their overall work, and in particular for their efforts to maintain and renovate the church.