On Sunday 4 May, His Eminence Archbishop Sergios officiated at the service of the Holy Eucharist (which was followed by an Artoklasia for the Feast of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women) together with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Evlogios Antonellos, and in the presence of Mr. Evstratios Kritzas, chairman of the Hellenic Community of George, and two God-mothers of the Church, Mrs Aikaterina Apostolleli and Mrs Paraskevi Tyropolis.
The Church of the Holy Archangels was consecrated by Archbishop Sergios on the Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearers (22 April) in 2007. The day for the consecration was chosen because the Church of the Holy Archangels in Lesvos, where the miraculous icon of Archangel Michael of Mantamados (Gr. O Μανταμάδος) is found, was also consecrated on the Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearers.
In his address after the service, His Eminence said that the Myyrhbearers were the first people to witness the Resurrection of Christ. They risked their lives and followed the Jews to the tomb and came prepared with what was needed to anoint the body of Christ. These women showed great courage and in fact took on the role of what was preserved for men at that time in history. The Apostles fled and hid because anyone who was associated with Christ at that time faced persecution. They were rewarded for their extraordinary effort by being the first to be honoured with this gift and privilege.
His Eminence went on to say that when Adam and Eve were banned from Paradise, God arranged specific roles for a man and for a woman. The man was to be protector and provider and the woman was to give birth to their children and stay at home to nurture and educate them.
In our contemporary world we have a false reality. Society has demanded equal rights for men and women in a man’s world. Families are incomplete because many mothers are not in the home but in the workplace. Our children are not raised as God meant them to be raised and it is unfortunate that we are not solving any of the problems in the world; in fact we have added to them and continue to do so. The solution is for wives to become mothers again and take on the role that God meant for them.
With the witness of the Myyrhbearers and the confession of Thomas, we Orthodox Christians recognise the Resurrection of Christ and have confessed that He has always been, still is, and will always be the Real God and the Real man. We do not compromise Christ by considering Him as only a human being to fulfill our temporary needs, for example as a friend and a fellow man for our entertainment, as some Christians do. For Orthodox Christians Christ is our, God, Creator and Saviour.
After the service a lunch was held in the community hall to celebrate the feast day. Mr Kritzas thanked His Eminence for travelling to George to officiate on this important day for their Church and the Community. He also thanked proto psalter, Gregory Manolellis from East London who chanted at the Service.