Orthodox Greeks celebrate the Dormition of the Virgin Mary

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The Dormition of the Virgin Mary was celebrated across Greece and Australia on Monday with a number of church services and paniyiria.

On the Greek island of Tinos, Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, attended religious services alongside the Minister of Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, and Chief of the General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros.

The Prime Minister first boarded fast attack craft “Mykonos” and threw a wreath at sea in memory of the crew of cruiser “Elli” sunk by an Italian submarine on August 15, 1940, weeks before the two countries went to war.

Mitsotakis then attended the celebratory mass at the island’s cathedral.

“We celebrate today the Dormition of the Mother of God and we gather strength and faith to overcome, individually and collectively, the great difficulties…” Mitsotakis said afterwards.

“On this important day for Orthodox Christianity, the great challenge of our country is unity and dedication to the goals of the future, to stand by those with the greatest needs…we will remain faithful to the path we have chosen for a prosperous, self-assured, socially cohesive Greece.”

For her part, Greece’s President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, attended the doxology at the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani on the Greek island of Paros.

“This year we celebrate this great day for Orthodoxy, longing for the consoling and inspiring protection of the Virgin Mary that we, the Greeks, have associated with love, care for the weak and sensitiveness. I hope these values continue to inspire us,” Sakellaropoulou said at the end of the service.

Elsewhere across Australia, Greek Orthodox people gathered at their local churches for a number of church services and later broke their fast with family gatherings.

His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia presided over a Divine Liturgy at the Parish of Panagia Soumela in the suburb of East Keilor, Melbourne.

During the service, Archbishop Makarios issued a message to mark the day and said the Dormition of the Theotokos “is indeed a feast and a glorious celebration and not one of mourning, sorrow and pain.”

Present among the large congregation were the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Emmanuel Kakavelakis, and Maria Vamvakinou MP, who received an icon from the Archbishop as a gift for her nameday, among many others.

Everyone gathered at the parish hall afterwards for a small feast.

READ MORE: Greek customs and traditions in celebration of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

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