On Sunday 21 May 2017 the Service of the Holy Eucharist and an Artoclasia in honour of the Feast Day of Saints Cyril and Methodius was held, at the Cathedral of Saint George in Woodstock, Cape Town. His Eminence Archbishop Sergios, Metropolitan Bishop of Good Hope, Reverend Father Nikolaos Giamouridis, parish priest of Cape Town, Deacon Father Michael Simos and Deacon Father Nicholas Esterhuizen officiated at the service. Father Danil Lugov, parish priest of the Russian Community in Johannesburg and Father Isaljo , parish priest of the Serbian community in Johannesburg, joined us for the day and also participated in the service.
It was a truly blissful winter’s day in Cape Town and after the service there was a festive lunch and entertainment laid on at the Orthodox Centre in Lansdowne where everyone got together to enjoy sharing the blessings of the day as an integrated pan-Orthodox community.
Pepe Sofianos welcomed everyone on behalf of the Welfare Committee of the Metropolis and introduced the clergy and dignitaries present who were: the Consul of Greece Mr Thomas Matsoukas, the Honorary Consul of Cyprus Mr Johnny “Babi” Philippou, the Consul General of Russia Mr Roman Evgeny Ambarov, the President of the Hellenic Community of cape town Mr Foti Sousalis and the Chairman of the Russian Club in Cape Town Dr Mishag Galukhin.
His Eminence Archbishop Sergios opened the proceedings and the afternoon started off with an informative and very interesting video presentation by Deacon Father Nicholas Esterhuizen which documented the lives and works of these two great saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the interaction between Byzantium and the Balkans in the early days of Christianity.
Anastasia Esterhuizen and her friend then sang two very beautiful and moving hymns in Russian. After we all sang “Christos Anesti”, his Eminence blessed the food and the feast began.
The table was laden to the hilt with traditional Greek, Russian, Serbian and Bulgarian dishes including a very South African bobotie and everything was prepared by the ladies of the Welfare Committee and ladies of the different communities.
But that’s not all the dessert table with an array of decadent treats was unveiled and everyone discovered each other’s favourite confectionery goodies and then there was lots of recipe-swapping going on!
The children meanwhile had loads of fun learning to write the Cyrillic alphabet and drawing their favourite saints.
The event ended on a high note with Chanter Meletios and three friends from the Congo who sang “Christos Anesti “ in French and two African languages.
It was a happy hectic day honouring two revered saints in great style and already diaries are being checked for next year’s festivities!
By Pepe Sofianos