The Service of the First Stanza of the Salutations to the Most Holy Theotokos was conducted with great devotion and splendour in Sydney, and specifically at the Holy Church of Saint Nektarios, in the suburb of Burwood, presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
Upon his arrival, His Eminence was received at the entrance of the Holy Church by Fr. George Liagas, Parish Priest of the Church, and Fr. John Kapetas, as well as by the President and the members of the Parish Council, while afterwards, in the presence of a large congregation, the Salutations Service took place.
His Eminence, during his sermon, referred to the service of the Salutations, honouring the person of the Mother of God and emphasising that we, as a human race, have a great obligation to our Virgin Mary.
He specifically emphasised: “We praise our Virgin Mary and at the same time we intercede her to advocate for the whole human race. The Virgin Mary is the new Eve.
The old Eve took us out of Paradise, now we have the new Eve, who again enables us to enter Paradise. The Virgin Mary is the bridge that unites the earth with heaven. The Virgin Mary is the key which opens the gate of Paradise.”
At the end of the Service, the Archbishop greeted all the faithful who came to church, giving them a commemorative icon, while a meal followed in the Parish hall.