On Sunday, 27 August 2023, the feast day of the Holy Great Martyr Phanourios and Our Venerable Father Pimen, with the blessing of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the Parish of Sts Constantine and Helene organized a special and successful day at the Church for Primary and High School children, held in the presence of Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea.
Over 60 children attended to partake in the Divine Liturgy together and conduct activities aimed at helping them understand the faith and traditions of the Orthodox Church.
The morning began with the Matins and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Officiated by Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea. In his sermon, Bishop Elpidios spoke about the Holy Martyr Phanourios and the symbolism behind the Phanouropita cake prepared by the faithful and brought to the Church to be blessed. Bishop Elpidios explained that the offering of the cake was in order to ask for the intercessions of St Phanourios to find things that are lost, as the Martyrs name literally means in Greek ‘to reveal’. The Phanouropita also shows our gratitude to the Saint when he reveals something to us.
Following the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the children enjoyed a delicious lunch of chicken souvlaki yeros prepared free of charge for them by the Church Committee. After lunch, the children were broken up into age groups and participated in various activities such as learning about and making icons, as well as preparing their own koliva and learning about the significance and meaning of all the different ingredients that are used.
While the children were participating in these activities, there was a spiritual talk and discussion for parents held in the Church. The talk addressed the topic of Parenting and our Orthodox Faith and prompted much discussion from the parents about cultivating Orthodox values and ethos in our children.
Following the talk in the Church, the children brought their plates of koliva into the Church for a special memorial service to commemorate all of their loved ones who had fallen asleep.
At the conclusion of the event, the children enjoyed a big game of soccer together in Russell Square Park across the road.
The event was a monumental success for the parish with immense positive feedback from all the parents and children.
The Parish of Sts Constantine and Helene expresses its heartfelt appreciation to Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea for His guidance and leadership on this initiative, as well as all the parents and volunteers who worked very hard to make the day a great success.