Under the guidance and supervision of Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia, the commendable work of the Presiding Priest of the Annunciation of the Theotokos Metropolitan Church in Oslo Archimandrite Fr. Alexandros Loukatos and the parish council members, the iconography installation in the aforementioned church, located at the heart of Norway’s capital, officially began.
Iconographers Michail Androutsos, Demetrios Androutsos, and Spyridon Metsis worked on the installation of the first icon frescoes inside the Holy Altar of the Metropolitan Church. Specifically, they installed the Theotokos seated on a throne, circular icons featuring sis prophets, the Holy Eucharist, and Christ Enthroned, surrounded by eight hierarchs.
The Metropolitan Church is the latest parish in the Holy Metropolis of Sweden to be adorned with iconography over the past eight years, following the St. Nicholas Hermitage in Rättvik, Sweden, and the St. George Cathedral in Stockholm, which was recently adorned with 36 frescoes.
Beginning on the afternoon of Friday, November 18, 2022, Metropolitan Cleopas traveled to Oslo to personally oversee the installation of the iconography and met with the aforementioned iconographers, who offered him a portrait of Elder Evsevios Vittis of blessed memory, who served as the first parish priest in Oslo in 1965 and founder of the St. Nicholas Hermitage in Rättvik.
That same afternoon, accompanied by Fr. Alexandros, the Metropolitan met with the President, Vice-President, and two members of the Hellenic Society of Norway, entrepreneurs Messrs. Ioannis Aliferis, Georgios Mougios, Petros Arvanitidis & Stavros Tsikalakis.
On Saturday, November 19th, Metropolitan Cleopas visited the local Greek School, which has 110 students, accompanied by Fr. Alexandros.
They were welcomed by the Director of the Greek Language School of Oslo Mrs. Vasiliki Papatheodorou, who briefed them on the school’s progress. They also had an opportunity to interact with the students and parents at the school.
Metropolitan Cleopas also congratulated the person in charge of the hagiography class Ms. Nicole Konstante, held in the upper room of the church, and attended by Norwegians.
That same afternoon, the Metropolitan met with the parish clergy and members of the parish council Kyriaki Papadopoulou Samuelsen, Julia Eleftheriadou, Carolina Alevra, Demetra Valeontis Axioti, and Michail Bikoulis.
On Sunday morning, November 20th, Metropolitan Cleopas presided over the Divine Liturgy, which was streamed on the Facebook page of the Holy Metropolis and celebrated in Greek, Norwegian, French, and English, assisted by the parish clergy Archimandrite Alexandros Loukatos and Rev. Economos Maxime Lesage. Halle Theologos Βakken served at the altar.
In his sermon, the Metropolitan spoke about the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, extending his thanks to the iconographers, the donors contributing to the iconography project, and all those who supported the historic undertaking to adorn the Metropolitan Church with iconography.
Metropolitan Cleopas also expressed his satisfaction with the progress being attained by the local Greek Community and the excellent collaboration that the local Greek institutions share. He was welcomed by the congregation at the luncheon that followed in the church hall, courtesy of the Ladies Philoptochos Society.
Attending the Divine Liturgy and luncheon was the Consul of Greece Konstantinos Danassis, accompanied by his associate from the Greek Embassy in Oslo, and many members of the faithful.
The hymns of the day were chanted in Greek and Norwegian by the head chanter of the parish Panagiotis Katsivalis, who was aided by Stig Simeon Frøyshov, a professor at the University of Olso, Cosmas Plakou, and Erik Porphyrios Hasner.
That evening, Metropolitan Cleopas returned to his eparchy’s see in Stockholm.
Photos, courtesy of the Metropolis of Sweden, Fr. Alexandros Loukatos, Michael Bikoulis, and Evangelia Pispiringou.