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Archbishop Elpidophoros Remarks Before the Doxology for March 25 – On the Sunday of Thomas

Credits: GOARCH / Dimitrios S. Panagos

REMARKS 

By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America 

Before the Doxology for March 25 – On the Sunday of Thomas 

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral 

Boston, Massachusetts 

May 1, 2022 

 

My beloved brother in Christ, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, 

Minister of Justice of Greece, Mr. Kostas Tsiaras, 

Honorable Consul General of Boston, Stratos Efthymiou, 

Mayor of Kalamata, Mr. Athanasios Vasilopoulos 

Deputy of Thessaloniki, Mr. Dimitrios Kouvelas, 

Reverend Clergy, 

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, 

 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! [in response: Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!] 

Christ is Risen! [in response: Truly He is Risen!] 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! [in response: Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!] 

With our triumphant Paschal proclamation, I greet each and every one of you on this glorious morning in Boston, where we have gathered once again to praise and give thanks for the Rebirth of the Greek People. 

This is Thomas Sunday, when we see the Doubter resolve his double mind and come to faith in the Lord. And were there not doubters when the Greeks first raised their banner of liberty? 

Of course! Greece was tiny in comparison to the empire that had dominated their lands, and much of the surrounding Mediterranean world for centuries. But the People rose up with faith. They rose up in faith. They rose up for their faith. 

Much like the noble People of Ukraine in our own days, who are fighting for their freedom and for their very survival. We stand with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters as they nobly attempt to repel the invaders and cast of a yoke of tyranny that is threatening to engulf them. Our ancestors did the very same thing two hundred years ago, when they made their stand for liberty and for the very identity of their people. And we can do no less for the brave Ukrainian People, who are being attacked by their own spiritual kinsmen. 

For what we celebrate today is truly in accord with our Paschal affirmations. We call the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Άνάστασις,” which literally means “to stand again.” For the dead are laid to rest supine, lying flat in the earth. But to rise again and stand upright, my dear friends, is truly a miracle. 

And this is exactly what happened in 1821. The Greek People stood tall again and commenced the long battle back to the integrity of their faith, their culture, their language and their territory. 

Being held fast by another power is very much what our Lord found when He descended into Hadës. He found all those who were captive to an entity foreign to their purpose as human beings. 

The same could be said for our Ellada. It was held by a foreign power for generations; yet – just as those held by sin and death did not despair – the Greek People always clasped a deep hope for freedom within their breast. 

Today, here in Boston, where the first cries for Liberty in our United States rang out not far from this Cathedral, where at Lexington and Concord, as the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson later rhymed: 

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 

Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard round the world.1 

Like the Heroes of the American Revolution, those of 1821 unfurled their flag, but a month earlier, on March 25th. They even took inspiration from this land, as they witnessed another David slay a Goliath. 2 

Therefore, my beloved Christians, let us stand tall today and march with pride for the courage of our ancestors. Hellenes and Philhellenes alike, let us praise our God for our liberty in Christ achieved by the Resurrection. And let us celebrate our freedoms in our homelands of America, Greece and Cyprus with gratitude to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty. 

Like Thomas who came to faith, let us stand firm in our faith in the Άνάστασις of our national pride and glory, and in an everlasting memorial to the Heroes of 1821.  

Ζήτω τὸ Εἰκοσιένα! 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη!