His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Greetings to the Federation of District Choirs of the Archdiocese Vasilopita
Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church
Greenlawn, New York
January 22, 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
What a joy for me to be with you today, to share with you this annual Vasilopita and to encourage you in your ministry of music with our Holy Church. I would like to thank Fr. John Vlahos, your Spiritual Advisor, Ms. Anna Dounelis, the outgoing President of the District Choir Federation, and Mr. Costas Tsourakis, the new incoming President, for the kind invitation to attend this joyous gathering. . I wholeheartedly commend their invaluable service to the Church, and I cannot stress enough the importance of your ministry and your collective mission.
I always feel like my place is with you. Our Holy Orthodox Church is the preeminent Christian Church of worship, adoration and raising the human voice in praise of our Creator. And you are the workers in the vineyard, focusing your talents and your time to produce the integral elements of music that beautify our liturgical life – a life that has had its challenges over the past two years.
This New Year 2022 has begun with equal measures of hope and uncertainty as our parishes still face the challenge of navigating the pandemic. We remain hopeful, but we must also remain vigilant.
As you all know, this year marks the centenary of our Church as the first eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. And the centennial celebration will take place right here in New York during the National Convention of Clergy and Laity in July. Therefore, I count on the local Conference to work with the National Forum of Church Musicians, so that the musical elements of the Congress reflect the great traditions that have emerged here in America.
The oath of office, which is offered today, is offered in light of the cutting of the Vasilopita – which is an act of hope and faith. You are all part of the commitment to beauty and glory in the Church, and I thank you for your unwavering commitment and unwavering dedication.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
Let’s embrace the New Year 2022 with positive minds and hopeful hearts.
May the Lord grant us all a very happy, wholesome and spiritually prosperous New Year, as we give thanks to the Almighty for the centenary blessing of our Sacred Archdiocese, and another year of favor from the Lord.