This year, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia shared two celebrations on December 25th, Christmas Day as well as the ordainment of Bishop Aimilianos of Meloa.
The Holy Cathedral of Annunciation in Sydney was packed with devout Christians as the Divine Liturgy was performed. During the liturgy, Bishop Aimilianos was ordained in honour of his spiritual father, the blessed Elder Aimilianos from Simonos Petras monastery.
Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevastia, Bishops Ezekiel of Dervis, Iakovos of Miletoupolis, and Michael from the Romanian Orthodox Church. Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea, Bishop Silouan of Sinope, and many Australian clergymen attended the Divine Liturgy.
Among the attendees were the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr Christos Karras, and his wife, Trade Commissioner of Greece for Australia and New Zealand, Ms Katia Gkikiza.
Before the ordination, His Eminence Makarios made a heartfelt speech about Christ, the Holy Spirit and the meaning of Christmas.
“We rejoice and glorify the Triune God from the very muscles of our existence,” he noted, “for this great blessing and special joy to bring together today…the Nativity verses and Pentecostal paradoxes. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”
Archbishop Makarios advised the new Bishop of Meloa to worship the Church and lead with humility and love.
The ordainment of the Bishop was chosen on Christmas Day from a tradition that stemmed 46 years prior. The Ecumenical Patriarch of the Metropolitan of Philadelphia was ordained by the Ecumenical Patriarchal Church of St George in Fanari in 1973. The common anniversary was aimed to spiritually connect the new Bishop with the Great Patriarch of the Church of Constantinople forever.
The ordained Bishop expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and to the Bishops who constitute the Holy Synod for his election. He then addressed His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, with loving words of appreciation.
“My confidence in your person from the outset was accompanied by respect for the magnitude of your love for the human face,” he said, characterising the Archbishop as a source of inspiration and a role model.
In a climate of deep emotion, Bishop Aimilianos of Meloa received the Hierarchical Miter and the rod from the hands of His Eminence Makarios, while the faithful repeatedly and enthusiastically exclaimed “AXIOS”.