Saturday, May 24, 2008
Liturgy in the Crypt of St. Demetrios
We took the top photo as we walked along the water. The famous White Tower is in the background. We headed to the Metropolitan Cathedral, which houses the relics of St. Gregory Palamas. Djina was thrilled and overwhelmed to be able to venerate this great saint.
Afterwards, we took a break and sat at the Starbucks near the White Tower. (You can see us there in the second photo, with the White Tower in the background.)
Finally, we headed to St. Demetrios for the Divine Liturgy which they celebrate every Friday night in the catacombs underneath the church. It has been my dream to serve in a liturgy there! This area underneath the church was originally the Roman baths where St. Demetrios was martyred around the year 300. As soon Christianity emerged from the shadows of persecution a few years later, the Christians turned the site of the saint's martyrdom into a church dedicated to him. Later, around 450, the magnificent temple you see today was built on top of the site of the martyrdom. The saint's relics were kept in the altar in the church upstairs, but so much myrrh poured from them that they built a pipe from the altar down to the crypt. There a basin (which you can see at the beginning of the video) collected the myrrh for the faithful to take.
The third photo is taken in the courtyard outside the church. The video is a 3.5-minute collage of pieces from the Liturgy. The service ran from 9:30 until about 11:15. Afterwards, we came back home to Panorama, elated and exhausted. For a few more photos of the day, click here.
Posted by Fr. Gregory at 7:47 PM