Metropolitan Elpidophoros [Lambriniadis] of Bursa was unanimously elected by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople as Archbishop of America on May 11, 2019.
Archbishop Elpidophoros will be enthroned on Saturday, June 22, 2019, as the Archbishop of America in a formal church ceremony according to the ancient rites of the Orthodox Church.
The structure of the Enthronement Service has developed through the centuries. However, its theology is firmly grounded on the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch (104 A.D), according to whom “the bishop represents the image of God” and “wherever the bishop is surrounded by the people of God, there the entire church is present and united.”
The service opens with a solemn procession and the entrance of the elected Archbishop, who is escorted by senior bishops to the throne where they exclaim, “Axios! He is Worthy!” This exclamation will be repeated several times throughout the service by the entire congregation, comprising clergy and laity.
The Enthronement Service includes special hymns and prayers to the Holy Spirit, as well as a brief chant of Doxology. During the service, the Archbishop will offer his blessing, while the choir and congregation will respond by chanting the Archbishop’s official hymn of acclamation for the first time in the Cathedral. One of the central elements of the service is the passing of the Pastoral Staff – symbolizing the transition of spiritual authority and pastoral care – to Archbishop Elpidophoros.
Archbishop Elpidophoros serves as the Presiding Prelate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and most honorable Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.