The Great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated solemnly today at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy, on Wednesday, December 25, which was concelebrated by Metropolitans Ioannis of Pergamos, Meliton of Philadelphia, Chrysostomos of Myra, Stefanos of Kallioupolis and Madytos, Athenagoras of Kydonia, and Job of Telmessos.
During the Divine Liturgy, Deacon Iakovos Rindlisbacher from Switzerland was ordained Presbyter and Subdeacon Andreas Webster from Scotland was ordained Deacon by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Both clergymen were brothers of Patriarchal Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex.
In his homily, before the two ordinations, the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to the supranational character of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is not affiliated with any national contexts.
He recalled the words of Metropolitan Elder Ioannis of Pergamos, who, in his speech on the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, had pointed out, “If this institution did not exist, it should have been invented. Without the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Orthodoxy will slide into the spiral of nationalisms, the arrogance of the past, the introspection of self-sufficiency, the contempt of the modern world.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch placed special emphasis on the mission and importance of the ministry of the clergy in the modern world.
“The servant of the Most High does not belong to himself, but to Christ and the Church. The good clergyman is dedicated heart and soul to his blessed work, always having a sacrificial vocation, being sensitive to human pain, humble and simple, never indolent or pessimistic,” he emphasized and added that “the witness of a clergyman is the temple, not various sites.”
Earlier, the Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Archim. Ioakeim, read the Patriarchal Proclamation for Christmas 2019.
The Ecumenical Patriarch received the Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias and his family, as well as the Mayor of Constantinople, Ekrem Imamoglu, at the Patriarchal Office.
The new Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, Sahak Maşalyan, accompanied by his associates, visited the Phanar in the evening to wish the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Christmas Day.