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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to Celebrate Greek Letters

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Jan 19, 2005

New York, NY – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Greek Education has announced several events, to be led by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, in observance of Greek Letters and Culture.

Celebrated annually throughout the United States by the Archdiocese and its institutions in conjunction with the Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs on January 30, the event commemorates the fourth century scholars and theologians, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom, who espoused Christianity with Hellenism, its language, philosophy, drama, poetry and art. Three Hierarchs Day was first celebrated in the year 1100 A.D. when the Byzantine Emperor Alexis Comninos proclaimed that January 30 be set aside to honor these men whose writings contributed to the formulation of Greek Orthodoxy, Greek Culture and education.

Following is the schedule of events in metropolitan New York.

Friday, January 28 - 9:00 a.m.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios will celebrate the Divine Liturgy for teachers and students (grades 5-12) of the Greek American Day Schools on Friday, January 28 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (319 E. 74th St, NYC). At the conclusion of the Liturgy, the Archbishop will bestow The Three Hierarchs Award of Excellence on the students who achieved a score of 100 in the 2004 Comprehensive Examination of Modern Greek

January 28 - 4:30 p.m.
His Eminence will cut the traditional Vasilopita at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (10 East 79th Street) in honor of the administrators and teachers of the day and afternoon schools. Principals, teachers, and school board and PTA board members are invited to attend and receive the blessings of the Archbishop.

Saturday, January 29 - 7:00 p.m.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios will preside at the Great Vespers at the Three Hierarchs Church (1724 Avenue P, Brooklyn), followed by a presentation by the students of the community’s schools in celebration of “Greek Letters”.

Sunday, January 30 - 9:30 a.m.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios will celebrate an Archieratical Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in celebration of the Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs. In celebration of Greek Letters, the Archdiocesan Office will host a Reception and Lecture in the Cathedral Center beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Dr. George Demacopoulos, assistant professor of Theology at Fordham University, will speak on “ A New Feast in the Orthodox Church: The Return of the Relics of St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople”.

VIDEO PREMIERE
There will also be a video documentary, funded by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Order of St. Andrew, documenting the return of the relics entitled: “The Return of the Holy Relics of the Saints Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom from Rome to the Church of Constantinople November 27 - 30, 2004”.

Responding to the request of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and recognizing the importance of St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian to Orthodox Christians around the world, Pope John Paul II agreed to return the relics of these two great Fathers of the Church and Ecumenical Teachers to their original resting place in the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, accompanied by Archbishop Demetrios of America and other hierarchs, traveled to The Vatican to officially receive the relics from the Pope in a ceremony on November 27, 2004. The relics were then returned to Constantinople and enshrined inside the Cathedral of St. George at the Patriarchate on November 30, during a Pan-Orthodox Liturgy ceremony commemorating St. Andrew the Apostle, the patron saint and founder of the Church of Constantinople.

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