The Holy Epiphany was celebrated with greatness and splendor at the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Monday, January 6.
The Ecumenical Patriarch, after the Matins at which he officiated, celebrated the Great Blessing of the Waters, and then presided over the Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by the Metropolitans Meliton of Philadelphia, Chrysostomos of Myra, Makariy of Lviv, Theoliptos of Iconium, Stephanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Chrysostomos of Kyrenia, Athenagoras of Kydonia and Amphilochios of Adrianople.
During the Divine Liturgy he ordained Presbyter the deacon George Christodoulos, a clergyman of the Church of Cyprus and a teacher.
Prior to the ordination, the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed a paternal speech to f. George.
“It is a privilege for you to belong to the Church of Cyprus, which is distinguished both for its unshakable faithfulness to Orthodox tradition, and for its interest and concern for the world and History.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch then advised f. George:
“Keep lit the candle in the holy habitation of the Apostle Andrew, which you will guard and minister for the rest of your life, just as we, here at the Phanar, guard the eternal candlelight our Fathers have kept shining and luminescent, and the coming generation of Greeks will guard.”
After the end of the Divine Liturgy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Archpriests, the officials and the faithful moved in procession to the waterfront of the Phanar, where the Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the celebration of the Great Blessing of the Waters and the Dive for the Cross at the Golden Horn.
In the frigid waters of the Golden Horn, and despite the adverse weather conditions, more than 20 young people from Constantinople, Greece and abroad dived, and for the fourth time Nicolas Solis of Agrinio caught the Holy Cross. The Ecumenical Patriarch offered as a blessing to him a golden cross and blessed and gifted all the other swimmers with charms with the icon of St. Nectarios.