Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Feast Day 2014 at the Chapel of Sts. Constantine and Helen


As usual, we celebrated Festal Vespers and Liturgy for the Feast of Sts. Constantine and Helen (May 20/21) at our chapel dedicated to them. Built in 1861, it was a functioning men's monastery until World War II. The ruins of some of the former men’s monastery’s cells lie along the north side of the church. In addition to this feast, the parish also celebrates the Universal Elevation of the Holy Cross (Sept. 14) at this chapel. Like the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries, it features two side chapels built around 1867. The northern chapel is dedicated to St. Menas (Nov. 11), while the southern one seems to have been dedicated to St. Anthony. The side chapels are in need of renovation and are not currently used.


Here's a photo of the old wooden roof, which is traditional for basilica style churches.


We had lovely weather and a big crowd in the evening for Vespers and Artoklasia.



Here are the some of the early offerings for the artoklasia, as well as kollyva for the saints.




And here we are during the procession. My friend Fr. Georgios, who lives in Portaria but serves in Zagora, joined us. Two young boys carry festal icons.



Trif and Brittany, friends from Yakima, WA, were visiting and took these photographs.





I found a truly wonderful homily on St. Constantine which I read toward the end of the service. There is much discussion about whether he should be considered a saint, and this homily answered that question definitively. Many people asked me for copies.



Here's a photo from the entrance to the church, facing Volos.

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Could you provide a link or attach it in some way?

Fr. Gregory said...

Done! I've put a link to the homily.

deanna hershiser said...

Do you happen to have an English translation? I would love to read it.

Fr. Gregory said...

Unfortunately, there's no English translation that I know of.

Chris Moorey said...

In spite of the rather weird Google translate, I managed to get the gist of the sermon and liked it a lot. I do sometimes have doubts about the "sanctity" of some of the saints but there can be little doubt that Constantine, through his actions, established Christianity on a legal foundation and ended three hundred years of persecution. Not all the saints were always "good" people and whenever I doubt whether someone is worthy of sainthood, I think of the first canonization when Jesus took the repentant thief to Heaven with him.

Chris Moorey said...

In spite of the rather weird Google translate, I managed to get the gist of the sermon and liked it a lot. I do sometimes have doubts about the "sanctity" of some of the saints but there can be little doubt that Constantine, through his actions, established Christianity on a legal foundation and ended three hundred years of persecution. Not all the saints were always "good" people and whenever I doubt whether someone is worthy of sainthood, I think of the first canonization when Jesus took the repentant thief to Heaven with him.