(RNS) — St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine was consecrated Monday in New York City. The unique church, based in 1916 on close by Cedar Street in decrease Manhattan, was destroyed within the aftermath of the assaults on September 11.
“The rebuilding of Saint Nicholas as a Shrine for the Nation can also be an act of restoration,” mentioned Archbishop Elpidophoros, the chief of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, in an encyclical launched on Sunday.
The restoration had been stalled for a few years, on account of ongoing points with funding. Since 2019, the rebuilding undertaking has been funded and overseen by the Friends of Saint Nicholas, a nonprofit group that features the Rev Alexander Karloutsos, the previous vicar normal of the Greek archdiocese who will obtain the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this week.
The Independence Day consecration service was presided over by Archbishop Elpidophoros and concerned ritual processions across the church constructing, the putting and sealing of holy relics within the altar, and washing and anointing of the altar desk itself.
Above the altar, an icon of Mary, known as the Theotokos by Orthodox Christians, is depicted overlooking town of New York.
Seating was supplied each inside and outdoors the church to accommodate company, who included the Greek ambassador to the US, in accordance with a report in The National Herald.
The new church was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who additionally designed the close by World Trade Center Transportation Hub, sometimes called the Oculus. Calatrava’s designs for the church are primarily based on notable Byzantine-era constructions, together with the church of Hagia Sophia, which right now is a mosque in Istanbul, and the monastery church at Chora, additionally in Turkey.
St Nicholas, which plans to run a full cycle of Orthodox Christian providers, may even characteristic devoted interfaith and nonsectarian areas.
The goal, in accordance with an official assertion from the archbishop on Sunday, is “to rebuild as each the unique Greek Orthodox Church, but in addition as an area the place a variety of beliefs and respect for different religion traditions could be celebrated, taught and enshrined for all folks.”
The consecration of the St Nicholas church and shrine coincides with the beginning of the forty sixth biennial clergy-laity convention, a weeklong gathering in New York City of Greek Orthodox Christians from across the nation, in addition to the archdioceses’ centenary celebration.
© Religion News Service