Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine, Bishop Michael (Anishchenko) of Koman, led the Divine Liturgy in the chapel of the Stauropean Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, St. Andrew’s Church. The service was co-led by Hieromonk Chrysostom (Hadzinikolaou) of the St. Panteleimon Skete at the Koutloumousiou Monastery on Mount Athos.
Parishioners and Greek pilgrims prayed at the service, including the chief of the Imvros Island’s Greek Lyceum (Turkey), Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Mr. Joachim Kaburopoulos. It was on the island of Imvros that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was born and spent his school years.
In his sermon, Bishop Michael stressed the importance of Christians’ spiritual self-development as because people don’t automatically get salvation if they come to church, he explained.
“A Christian must approach participation in the Sacraments with understanding and faith, they must understand liturgical texts. There is a need for a clear and conscious participation in what’s happening in a church,” said the Bishop of Koman.
He gave the example of today’s worship service, performed in two languages: Ukrainian and Greek.
“Those who come to church for the first time don’t understand what’s being spoken in a foreign language. But those who attend church constantly, even when they travel to another country and pray there at a liturgy performed in a completely different language, will still know what they are praying for, without an interpreter,” said the exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine.