Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Feast of St. Nicholas, Portaria

The other parish in Portaria is dedicated to St. Nicholas, who also happens to be the patron saint of Volos. Just as in Thessaloniki, St. Dimitrios' Day is a holiday for everyone, in Volos, St. Nicholas' Day is a holiday. There are two churches dedicated to St. Nicholas in the area, one large one in the city, and this one in Portaria, which was built in 1856. Above you can see the church's icon of St. Nicholas. To the left is a large relic from St. Gideon the New, whom the Church celebrated on Sunday.

On the feast day of St. Nicholas, I closed our parish and went to St. Nicholas for both Vespers and Liturgy, so that the whole village would come celebrate the saint in the temple dedicated to him. Above you can see the artoklasia prepared, as well as a beautiful kolyva for Saint Nicholas.

At Vespers, Bishop Damaskinos of Velestino came to preside. As you can see, the church was originally a cathedral, and it was heavily influenced by the Russian style of the day, which came through Mt. Athos. 

The church was originally a cathedral, since the area of Thessaly had not yet been liberated from Turkish occupation in 1856, and the bishop often resided up in the mountains, further from the Turks' power in the city.

My friend Dn. Gabriel, of Romanian descent, came to serve.

A silver box with a small relic of St. Nicholas.

After reading the prayer for the blessing of the kolyva for the saint, the bishop then blessed the artoklasia along with the 12 or so priests and one deacon.

In the morning, I was one of four priests serving the Liturgy, the other three being archimandrites.

Here I am censing during the Alleluia before the Gospel.

For a few more photos, click here.

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