This year the feast of the Parish of Saints Constantine and Helen in Bruges was celebrated with great splendor. The previous three years were overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and last year by the demise of Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium.
On the eve of the feast, the solemn Vespers were celebrated, which was sung in Greek by Fathers Romanos and Konstantinos Kenanidis, while on the day of the feast the solemn Divine Liturgy. Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium presided over the Divine Liturgy, accompanied by Archimandrite Romanos Kenanidis (Thessaloniki), Protopresbyters Bart D ‘huyvetter, Bernard Peckstadt (Bruges), Athanasios Karatzogiannis (Maasmechelen) and Konstantinos Kenanidis (Brussels), Presbyters Andreas Dhoe (Ostende) and Michael Lomax (Brussels), as well as Archdeacon Aimilianos Hadjivassiliou and Deacon Adamantios Karfis. The choir chanted under the direction of Mr. Stefaan Coudenys.
In his sermon, inspired by the Gospel passage of Sunday of the Blind, the Metropolitan inter alia said the following: “Finding the cure for our spiritual blindness is no more complicated than living the fundamental Christian life that we all know we must live. There is no magic formula. No one needs to reach ascetic heights beyond their means. No one needs to try to become some kind of “spiritual superhero.” The bright light of Easter shines on all of us, and we must learn to accept the course of our lives, even if it is painful or frustrating, as our path to the Kingdom of God. Despite the differences in living conditions and personality, we all have the same task: slowly, step by step, to open the eyes of our soul to a light so bright that we think it will blind us. But the irony is that we’re already blind. The light of Christ comes not to blind, but to bring sight. Not to condemn, but to save. Not to kill, but to bring eternal life.”
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan thanked Bishop Ioakeim of Apollonia and the clergy for their participation in the festival, as well as Father Bernard for the remarkable work he does in the Parish. He also congratulated Father Constantine on his name day and invited all the faithful to come to the hall near the parish. There, the celebration continued with a great feast, with Greek music by Elias, and a barbecue. Festive opportunity to meet the parishioners, who enjoyed the feast and the beautiful day.