Once again this year, the Greek-American community gathered en masse at their local churches to witness the culmination of Holy Week services, with the service of Epitafios on Good Friday, the Vigil of the Resurrection on Saturday holy and, at midnight, the holy liturgy. of the Resurrection.
From Astoria to Southampton, from Flushing to Manhattan and from the Bronx to Brooklyn, Greek-Americans of all ages gathered in churches, in anticipation of the great celebration of Christianity.
This year’s celebrations were also historic, as the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the National Shrine at the World Trade Center held their first Holy Week services.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America officiated on Good Friday at the Holy Trinity in Hicksville for the Apokathelosi and Lamentations at St. Nicholas Flushing, on Good Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Demetrios in Astoria for the “Proti Anastasi » and at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan, and on Easter Sunday for Agapè Vespers at the St. Nicholas WTC, where the Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou was also present.
In Astoria, the well-known birthplace of New York’s Greek-American diaspora, the Ditmars neighborhood has become the focal point of three communities: the Church of St. Catherine and St. George, the Stavropegial Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou, and St. -Markella Cathedral Stone- followed the same route for their Epitafios Procession, between 23rd Avenue and Ditmars, with police blocking traffic, particularly on 31st Street, under the elevated railroad tracks. Among those present at St. Irene was former Greek Consul General in New York, Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, who was greeted by many members of the community during the Epitafios procession in Astoria on Good Friday. At the same time, attendance was also high at Astoria’s St. Demetrios Cathedral, which held its procession in the 30th Avenue area.
The Greek-American community outside of New York City, of course, also attended Holy Week services, a typical example being the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons, where Fr. Alexander Karloutsos and Father Constantine Lazarakis, after reciting the Gospel of the Resurrection, said “Christ is risen” in various languages.
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