In the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, A Synodical Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of Orthodoxy and memorial service for the victims of the Tempe train tragedy was conducted, presided over by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece at the Holy Metropolitan Church of Athens.
Participating in the Divine Liturgy were the following Hierarchs: Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Eleftheroupolis, Metropolitan Pavlos of Servia and Kozani, Metropolitan Anthimos of Alexandroupolis, Metropolitan Varnava of Neapolis and Stavroupolis, Metropolitan Markos of Chios, Psara and Oinousses, Metropolitan Theoklitos of Stagoi and Meteora, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Mani, Metropolitan Symeon of Fthiotida, Metropolitan Ieronymos of Larissa and Tyrnavos, Metropolitan Ieronymos of Kalavryta and Aigialeia, Metropolitan Gregory of Peristeri and the chief secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, Bishop Philotheos of Oreoi.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, a memorial service was held for the repose of the souls of the victims of the railway tragedy in Tempi. After all, a memorial service was held in all the Churches of Greece.
“This year Holy Week came earlier… and there are no words to describe the human pain. And all of us, like the Virgin Mary who as a mother mourned Christ, we mourn for these children of ours.” emphasized the Primate of the Church of Greece, in an emotionally charged atmosphere, a few days after the tragic event that shocked the whole of Greece. Additionally, he said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the train accident. We are living through a severe national calamity. This year we are living the events of Great and Holy Friday earlier. We all mourn the loss of these children.”
Addressing the families of the victims, he noted: “The only way to hug your children again is to believe that the last word is not death but resurrection. I kneel weakly before you under the weight of this premature parting.’
On behalf of the Permanent Holy Synod, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Mani expressed his deepest sorrow for the victims of the tragic railway accident. Apart from this, he referred to the symbolism of Sunday of Orthodoxy, “the feast of the Orthodox Church throughout the world”.
The Divine Liturgy was attended by, among others, the president of the Hellenic Parliament, Konstantinos Tasoulas, the Ministers of Education and Religious Affairs, Niki Kerameos, Minister of Health, Athanasios Plevris, the Deputy Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Angelos Syrigos, Members of Parliament, representatives of political parties, the regional governor of Attica, Giorgos Patoulis, the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, the leadership of the Armed Forces and the Security Forces, heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Greece and a large number of people.
It is recalled that the traditional meal that the President of the Hellenic Republic hosts for the Sunday of Orthodoxy at the Presidential Palace for the Synodal Hierarchs this year will not take place due to the train tragedy in Tempi.