On Sunday morning, 10/23 October 2021, during the Divine Liturgy at the Horrendous Golgotha, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina officiated the ordination to Priest of Deacon Elias Spyridon Awad, who has been appointed to serve at the Arab-speaking flock of the Patriarchate in Zdeide, a town of the Acre-Ptolemais district in northern Israel.

Co-celebrants to His Eminence were, the Patriarchal Representative in Acre-Ptolemais Archimandrite Philotheos and Priests from Acre, the ministering Priests of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Archdeacon Mark. The chanting was delivered by Hierodeacon Simeon and the Service was attended by faithful Christians from Jerusalem and pilgrims, the wife and children of the newly ordained Priest, and members of the Zdeide Community.

Before the ordination His Eminence addressed Fr Elias as follows:                 

“Most devout Deacon Elias,

Beloved Brethren in Christ,    

At the holiest place of the world, the Horrendous Golgotha, the place of the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and at the All-holy Sepulchre, the place of His Resurrection from the dead, do we observe at this hour the most Holy Sacrament of the Church, the Eucharist, and within it, the Sacrament of your ordination to Priest.

The Church of Jerusalem, the Mother of Churches, by the decision of H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and the Holy and Sacred Synod, calls you today to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit and be placed at the second degree of Priesthood.

It is a great honour that the Church gives you, but also great is the responsibility it places upon you because it has appreciated the simplicity and the humility of your manner of living as well as the stability of your repentance. From henceforth, the Church places its trust on you to officiate the Baptism, so that new people will become its members, the Holy Eucharist, to give the Body and Blood of Christ, the Unction, and all other Sacraments, so that the people will find healing in their bodies and souls and be sanctified and saved.  

For the success of your Priestly ministry, you should apply the Lord’s words, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Matt. 26:41), and “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life” (John 5:39). Study the Holy Bible and preach it to the faithful, like it is explained by the old God-bearing Fathers of the Church, such as Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Theologian, and more recent ones, like Saint Nectarios.

The Church draws your attention so that you do not deviate either to the right or to the left, but to walk the straight path of Orthodoxy, keeping in fear and great attention the consignment that will be given to you in a few minutes.

At the hour of your ordination as well as during the full course of your priestly ministry, be sure that you will be accompanied by the prayers of H.H.B. the Patriarch of Jerusalem and of my mediocrity, of the Patriarchal Representative in Acre Archimandrite Philotheos and other co-celebrant Priests who are your brethren, of your blessed father Presbyter Spyridon, your wife and children, who you brought up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), the representatives of Zdeide Community, which has been appointed as the place of your ministry, and all who honour you with their presence.

In fear of God and trust, kneel and pray to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit and become a chosen vessel of God, a new man and preacher of His wonders.”              

After the Dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, the newly ordained Priest paid his respect to His Beatitude, while His Beatitude admonished him in fatherly and spiritual words for the encouragement of his ministry in the Zdeide community.

From Secretariat-General