On August 13, in the Imbros Metropolis Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Divine Liturgy was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of priesthood of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was on August 13, 1961, that in the Church of the Assumption on Imbros Island, in his small homeland, the future Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was ordained a deacon. In October and November this year, His Holiness will also celebrate another anniversary. It is 30 years since his election and enthronement to the Patriarchal Throne (1991), the press service of the OCU says.
The Divine Liturgy was presided over by the Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, and Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy. They were assisted by representatives of the Primates of the Church of Cyprus – Metropolitan Nectarios of Kitia and the Church of Greece – Metropolitan Panteleimon of Maronia and Komotini, as well as the Secretary General of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Archimandrite Grigorios and the rector of the Church of St. Sophia in Kyiv, Archpriest Petro Landvytovych.
After the liturgy, the head of the OCU delivered a speech, in which he noted:
“Sixty years ago, you became a deacon […] even more than then, and in various ways, with great responsibility, you are serving the Church you lead directly, the Local Sister Churches, and all people of good will. Therefore, both on my own behalf and on behalf of the Holy Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, I cordially congratulate Your Holiness on this anniversary of service and wish you to continue it and continue to work with dignity, as the first among us all, for the next many blessed years. Thank you for a hospitable meeting in your home, in the place of your birth and growth, while we look forward to your visit to Ukraine, which will soon begin.”
In memory of the service and on the occasion of the anniversary, Metropolitan Epifaniy presented the Ecumenical Patriarch with a panagia and an amber-made image of the vine, a symbol of the Church as the vineyard of Christ.
Greetings were also offered personally by Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria. Greetings from the Primates of the Churches of Cyprus and Greece were conveyed by the hierarchs of these churches. A greeting from Romanian Patriarch Daniel was also recited.
The mayor and representatives of the Greek community of Imbros Island have also expressed their congratulations.
The service ended with a word of gratitude from Patriarch Bartholomew and acceptance on behalf of the Imbros Metropolis.