Holy Epiphany was celebrated with all solemnity and splendor at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, today, Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
His All-Holiness, after Orthros, during which he presided from the Throne, performed the Great Blessing, and then celebrated the Divine Liturgy, concelebrating with Their Eminences the Hierarchs Meliton of Philadelphia, Nektarios of Anthidon, Commissioner of the Holy Sepulcher in Istanbul, Chrysostomos of Myra, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, and Athenagoras of Kydonia.
Also present in the church were the God-loving Bishop Adrianos of Halicarnassus, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Ankara, His Excellency Mr. Andrii Sybiha, and the Consul General of the same country in the City, the Honorable Mr. Oleksandr Gaman, with their countrymen, the Consul of Greece Ms. Danai Vasilaki, Archons Offikion of the Holy Great Church of Christ and a large number of believers from the city, in compliance with the measures of protection from the pandemic.
After the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Hierarchs, the officials and the faithful went in procession to the waterfront of the Phanar, where His All-Holiness presided over the celebration of the Great Blessing of the Waters and the immersion of the Holy Cross in the Golden Horn.
Two young people from the City dived into the cold waters of the Golden Horn, and the Holy Cross was picked up by Mr. Vassilios Kiourktsou, an employee of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to whom the Ecumenical Patriarch gave a golden cross as a blessing, while he also blessed the second swimmer, thanking both of them who, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic and the limitations it has brought to our lives, maintained this custom.