With the blessing and holy prayers of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the new Archiepiscopal Church of St Sophia, Bowden (SA), celebrated a historical milestone with its first Pascha on the 15th/16th of April 2023.
The service was led by Bishop Silouan of Sinope, assisted by the Parish Priest Fr Jeremy Krieg and deacon Fr John Saredakis – who was also celebrating his first Pascha as a clergyman.
Despite the inclement weather, there was a great turnout of faithful to sing the first Χριστὀς Ανἐστη and to hear the Church’s bell ring for the first time. Most of the faithful stayed through to the very end of the service – a testimony to their dedication, faith, and joy at celebrating the Resurrection. The parish was blessed to be able to honor them with hospitality in the early hours of the morning, with a light supper of kotosoupa and the obligatory paschal eggs.
A few hours later, the parish was open again for the Paschal Vespers of Love at 11:00 am. Led by Bishop Silouan and co-celebrated by the clergy of Adelaide, the service was celebrated in the full pomp and ceremony that our faith has to offer in this service – clergy fully vested, processing into a brightly-lit Church chanting the hymns of the Resurrection. As is customary in this service, the universality of our faith was expressed by the reading of the Gospel in several languages (Greek, English, Latin, and Serbian). The Vespers of Love was followed by the Meal of Love, where the tireless ladies of the Central Philoptochos once again ensured that no one was left hungry.
Considering the early start after a late night, this service was again very well attended by several dozen faithful.
At both of these services, Bishop Silouan with much joy welcomed the faithful, conveying the heartfelt paternal blessings and love of our Archbishop, through whose prayers the Archiepiscopal Church of St Sophia was established and was able to celebrate its first Pascha. By his continuing prayers, may the parish’s paschal celebrations continue to grow for years to come.