Monday, October 17, 2016

Notes from Greek's Holy Eparchial Synod meeting

This is actually a pretty extensive report by Greek Archdiocesan standards and is dealing with some surprisingly important issues.

(GOARCH) - The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America convened for its regular meeting at the Synodal Chamber of the Archdiocesan headquarters in New York on October 12th and 13th 2016. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America presided at the meeting with the participation of all the Members of the Synod.

The Synod deliberated extensively on many matters including the following:
  1. Discussed Liturgical matters related: a) to the implementation of the edition of the approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate text of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom by the priests, chanters and choirs, and b) the continuation of translations of liturgical texts i.e. the Holy Prothesis, Great Vespers, Orthros (Matins) etc. A big issue. It's still rather up in the air. The priests have the new Liturgy book, but the use of it is very uneven. It will be intriguing to see what will happen next with it.
  2. According to the Regulations of the Holy Archdiocese, the Holy Synod reviewed the list of priest candidates for the rank of a Bishop, which will be sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for approval.
  3. Established protocol for bestowing offikia to priests serving in the Armed Forces. Accordingly the offikia will be awarded by the Archbishop of America after the recommendation of the Military Ordinary, in this case Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver.
  4. Discussed matters related to the life and work of the parishes especially administrative, financial and legal.
  5. Discussed extensively ways to reach out to non-active Orthodox Christians and ways to make them active in the life of the Church. Furthermore, it was decided that the efforts to reach out to the Orthodox students in the Universities must be intensified so that they may participate in the local gatherings of the Orthodox students (Orthodox Christian Fellowship).
  6. The Synod also discussed educational matters, such as the education of clergy candidates as well as lay people involved in the ministries of the parishes.
  7. Mention was made on the decisions of the Holy and Great Synod and ways to educate both clergy and laity about them. It was noted that during the 43rd Clergy Laity Congress this past July, four Hierarchs together with the Archbishop participated as members of the Holy and Great Synod. These Hierarchs made very successful presentations during the Congress analyzing the many aspects of the Great Synod to the delegates of the parishes.
  8. The day before the commencement of the Synod’s deliberations, its Members worked on a text of Internal Regulations for the Holy Monasteries.
Following the completion of the deliberations of the Synod, its Members presided over the Archdiocesan Council Committees and also participated in the meeting of the Archdiocesan Council.

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