Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Metropolitan of Tanzania

Today we had another bishop celebrating with us. This time it was the missionary, Metropolitan Dimitrios of Tanzania and the Seychelles (Patriarchate of Alexandria).

He's a native of Sohos, a village about an hour outside Thessaloniki, and we had an absolutely enormous crowd at the church today to greet him and take his blessing.

He's quite a dynamic figure, and he sure knows how to move people to help the impoverished people of his metropolis.

At the Little Entrance.

Just after the Great Entrance.

The Kiss of Peace.

At the Creed.

At the end, the Metropolitan addressed the packed church and thanked them for their contributions. Our parish has helped build two wells in Tanzania, which the Metropolitan says has saved many lives.

After the Dismissal, the Metropolitan asked those who were sick and suffering to come to the Beautiful Gate and kneel. He then placed his vestments over their heads and read a prayer, which you can see in the photo above. It was the first time I had seen this tradition, but it must be based, among other things, on Acts 19:11-12 and, of course, St. Mark 5:25-29.

Below is a video I found on YouTube with a montage of photos of Orthodox Tanzania from someone's visit there. There is also an interesting video from the OCMC Executive Director here. Finally, for more photos, click here.

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