By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Music Concert in Commemoration of the Greek Revolution of 1821
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint John the Theologian
Tenafly, New Jersey
November 18, 2021
My dear Cathedral Family and
Beloved friends in attendance this evening,
I am so very pleased to welcome everyone to this wonderful Concert dedicated to the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, here in this magnificent Cathedral of Saint John the Theologian. This musical tribute to our culture and history is a most worthy endeavor, and I would like to congratulate the Cathedral’s Committee and all the members who have brought us together this evening, to celebrate with such a renown Maestro, the esteemed Mr. Dimitrios Fousteris.
The Orchestra and Chorus under his expert direction have provided us with inspiration and holy patriotic zeal. These outstanding pieces, by Nikolaos Astrinidis and Manolis Kalomiris, elevate our understanding and appreciation of the Heroes of 1821, and the enormous legacy that Greece has given to us and to the world.
My dear Maestro Fousteris:
On behalf of all those present with us here tonight, and on behalf of our sacred ancestors who fought to make us free, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You have graced us with a very special performance that shall live on in our hearts and minds. For the depths of our Hellenic inheritance cannot be so easily plumbed by words alone. But music speaks to the heart as words to the intellect. Together, they bind us to our past and invite us to our future – a future that is infused with Hellenic ideals.
My beloved Hellenes and Philhellenes:
We have a sacred obligation to not only preserve these ideals, but to do so consciously and with devout intention. As another great composer, Gustave Mahler, said:
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”
The fire of Prometheus,
the fire of Heraclitus,
the fire of the Olympia,
the fire of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle,
the fire of the Church Fathers,
the fire of the Empire of Constantinople,
the fire of Greece that burned in embers for 500 years,
the fire that was rekindled on March 25, 1821,
the fire of the Heroes of the Rebirth of the Nation,
All these fires still burn inside our hearts and minds.
And so, my beloved friends, I pray the music of this evening fans the flames of your love for Greece, and fills you with an even more urgent and burning desire to embrace the cultural foundation of all Western Civilization. It was a privilege to be here this evening, and I pray that we shall have many more!
Ζήτω τὸ Ἑλληνικὸ Ἔθνος!