Sunday, February 13, 2011

Liturgy in the Crypt of St. Demetrios

We're currently enjoying visitors from Pelagia's home parish in Yakima, Washington. The first two, Ken and Stephen, arrived Thursday afternoon, and the other three--Pelagia's dad, Fr. Joseph, Fr. Dn. Nathaniel, and John--arrived Friday.

Since this is St. Demetrios' city, the first order of business was to venerate this great saint at his church in downtown Thessaloniki. Above, Ken venerates the saint's relics.

So, we headed down Friday night to participate in the weekly Friday night liturgy that takes place in the crypt of St. Demetrios, located underneath the altar of the current church (which dates to about 450 AD). The crypt is the spot where the saint was martyred, and parts of the first church built on the spot are still preserved.

Above and below, photos inside the crypt before the Liturgy began. The basin with columns around it is where myrrh from the saints relics was collected. The relics were kept under the altar of the church above, but there was so much myrrh streaming from them that they constructed a pipe to carry the myrrh down into this collecting basin.

Below, Fr. Dn. Nathaniel looks at the basin. Behind him, the low circular basin is where the saint was martyred.

I had the great blessing to serve the Liturgy along with Hieromonk Symeon. In the photo above, we are concluding the entrance. I am disappearing back into the makeshift altar area.

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