Friday, August 30, 2013

New Addition to Panagia Papariga

Our parish celebrates the Dormition and most of the feasts of the Mother of God in our largest chapel, which is dedicated to the Dormition. Just before the feast, through the generosity of two local donors, we were able to finally gives the chapel its Platytera -- "More Spacious than the Heavens" -- which is standard in every Orthodox church.

As you can see from the photos above, the space was quite barren.

The icon was done by an iconographer living right here in Portaria. As you can tell, the space is unusual, with the window off-center. One professor of Christian archaeology from Thessaloniki said he believes the church is quite old, i.e. before the fall of Byzantium. We know for sure that it was the central church of a monastery in the 1800s before being abandoned at some point. Locals recall the Germans using it to house their livestock when they occupied Portaria during WWII.

Fortunately, a saintly local woman took it upon herself to see the church reconstructed in the 1980s.

One of the donors was so pleased with this icon that she has now commissioned a small Pantocrator icon for the ceiling (although there is no dome, it being a basilica style).

For the feast of the Dormition, we had hundreds of people, both for the Festal Vespers in the evening and for the Liturgy.

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