Taking advantage of the blessed opportunity to have Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW in Alanya for the door opening of the Holy Church of the Theotokos Pisidiotissa, a Great Vespers was celebrated on Saturday, 14 November 2015, at the Holy Church of St. George of the Mountain, which has recently been renovated by the City of Alanya.

Hundreds of Orthodox who live in the area and in Constantinople, Smyrna, Chios, and mainland Greece filled the church, inside and outside. Indicative of the excitement were the many loaves of blessed bread (arto) that the faithful had baked and placed in the center of the church to be blessed by His All-Holiness during the “breaking of the bread (artoklasia)” prayer service.

Many clergy participated in the Great Vespers service, including the Great Archimandrite Bessarion and Patriarchal Deacon Niphon, while Great Archdeacon Andrew and Great Ecclesiarch Veniamin stood by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Praying with them from the side thrones were Metropolitan Iakovos of Prince Islands, Metropolitan Theolyptos of Iconio, Metropolitan Soterios of Pisidia, and a dozen priests, of which three were descendants of the builder of this church, Savvaa Manouloglou (1873) of blessed memory. Praying with them was the General Consul of Greece to Mr. Tsakiris and his wife. At the end of the vespers service, after the address by Metropolitan Sotirios of Pisidia, the Ecumenical Patriarch delivered his homily.


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