With the blessing of Bishop Gregorios El-Khoury and the concelebration of Archimandrites Stephanos Neiameh and Mikhail Yaqoub, the Abu Dhabi Antiochian Parish celebrated a festive Divine Liturgy on Friday morning, February 21, 2020, in the Cathedral of the Prophet Elijah served by the St. Marina Choir (9-10 years).
This Liturgy crowned a five-month work during which the children learned, with the efforts of their tutors, everything related to the sacrament and meanings of the Eucharist, with the parts of the Divine Liturgy and liturgical utensils that are used. They had a field experience as they served inside the holy altar, reading from the Metalepsi prayer, and learning the chants of the Divine Liturgy with their explanation.
During the preparations, Father Michael also met with the parents of the group to explain the Sacraments in general and the Eucharist in particular, as well as the explanation of the divine oblation and offering.
Furthermore, over the past months, Father Michael has been visiting the homes of the group’s children, together with the tutors, which had a great impact in bringing the parish closer to the pastor.
During the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Gregorios, gave a homily, stressing that the children are entrusted to the parents by God, and therefore the most important protection and the most powerful weapon that the parents can offer their children is to implant the love of Christ and the commitment to the Church in their souls. After concluding the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Gregorios presented the “Sacrament of the Eucharist” icon as a souvenir to all the members and tutors of the group, in particular to Brother Thaer Safatly, who undertook the chant training. Then everyone took souvenir photos.
After that, there was a reception in the church lounge, where a short documentary film exhibited glimpses of the preparations and rehearsals for the ceremonial Liturgy.
A final dialogue between Bishop Gregorios with parents and children about God’s priority in our lives concluded the dialogue.
Source: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East