Byzantine Dedication

by Laurel | January 22nd, 2014

22 January 1917

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Holy Trinity
Greek Orthodox Church
410 Main Street, Holyoke, MA

Greek Church at Holyoke
Exercises Sunday With Prayer for American Arms — Greek Bishop Officiates

Holyoke’s beautiful new Greek church, the Church of the Holy Trinity, was dedicated Sunday with services in the morning and dedicatory exercises and services in the afternoon. The ceremonies were in charge of the Greek Orthodox Bishop, Euthimins of Brooklyn, New York. Attending the Bisphop was his secretary Archdeacon Venerable Emmanuel Hatah of Brooklyn, New York, Rev. Moses Abigder of Springfield, Dea. Basil Mahfouz, pastor of the Lawrence community, who was ordained to the Greek priesthood by the bishop at the new Holyoke church Sunday morning.

he splendid Byzantine church rises on Main Street, magnificently and imposingly, like a beacon to enlighten Greeks and their descendants in the community. A prayer was offered in the new church for victory to our American arms over the enemies of liberty.

The ancient Greeks, when the emigrated to distant lands, and established colonies either on the shore of the sea of Marmora, in the Caucasus, in Asia Minor or in any other part of the world, carried with them from their mother cities, Athens, Meyara, Corinth, fire from the hearths of the household gods, and this fire was called the “sacred fire.” This fire the colonists kept in their hearths forever inextinguishable. It was believed that this fire , kept forever blazing in their news homes, formed the link between the mother cities and Hellas and the Hellenic colonies.

The modern Greeks who leave the shores of Hellias, the cradle of civilization, carry away with them the “sacred fire,” which is the religion of the Savior Christ, and keep it blazing forever in their souls.

The Greeks were among the initial disciples of the Great Master, and the holy gospels of Mark, Luke, and John were originally written in Greek, whereas the gospel according to Matthew was soon transcribed into Greek. Likewise the acts of the apostles and most of the epistles and the apocalypse were written in Greek, and later translated in all the languages of the world.

From the very beginning of our activities of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as a preacher, the Greeks began to embrace his holy doctrines. But the rapid Christianization of the Hellenic race began with the arrival of Paul, the apostle of the gentiles, at Athens, where he preached to the Athenians in the porticoes of the philosophers, and at the arios pevos [sic], the Athenian supreme court, about Jesus, the crucified. And here, Dionysus, the Areopagite, believed in the Christ of Nazareth, and became the first bishop of Athens. And with him a woman names Damaris, believed and became Christian.

With this religion of Dionysus and Demaris, the Greeks came to the shores of this liberal and great democratic land, enjoying liberty, equality and prosperity, and abiding loyal, liberty loving and food citizens of the republic. And the piety on the Greeks who came to America is made manifest by their works. They erect wherever they settle temples where they deposit the “sacred fire” of the Christian faith of their forefathers.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.
Image from the MACRIS database.

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