GOA Begins New Translation of Liturgy, Prepares for Episcopal Assembly

April 26, 2010

(GOA, New York) — The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America convened in its regular Spring Session in the Synodal Chamber of the HolyArchdiocese in New York, on April 21st and 22nd, 2010, under the chairmanship of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.

The Holy Eparchial Synod deliberated on the following issues:

Liturgical Issues: It was announced that the Ecumenical Patriarchate approved the submitted text of the Holy Prothesis and the Divine Liturgy, with liturgical rubrics by the Synod, so that it may be translated into the English language. Additionally, the Synod assigned to the Synodal Committee in charge of liturgical issues the responsibility to prepare similar texts for Sacred Services, Orthros and Vespers. Furthermore, the Synod completed its work on the text of the Service of Receiving non-Orthodox Christians into the Orthodox Church through Chrismation.

Canonical Issues: The final approval of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the submitted Regulations of the Holy Eparchial Synod was communicated. The work on the Regulations of Spiritual Courts was continued with the assistance of specialists in Law and Canon Law and with the formation of a list of reasons for issuing Ecclesiastical Divorces. Furthermore, the Synod approved a new Certificate for Baptism and Chrismation for use in parishes of the Holy Archdiocese.  Finally, the Holy Synod discussed canonical issues pertaining to the clergy, and made relevant decisions in regard to issues of pastoral and disciplinary nature.

Educational and Youth Issues: There was extensive discussion on Religious Education and the youth. The observation was made that the number of camping facilities has increased, as well as the youth participating in them. It has been realized that camping is a very successful tool in formulating a religious character in the youth. It was also noted that there is a need to educate parents and attempts are made for the participation of youth and parents in family programs at the camps. Priests should use all pastoral opportunities of athletic, dancing, and other youth programs for the cultivation of Orthodox character in the youth.

Inter-Orthodox Issues: There was extensive discussion on the upcoming pan-Orthodox Assembly of Bishops which will take place on May 26-28 in New York City. The formation of such an Assembly was decided by the Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox meeting in Chambesy, Switzerland, in June 2009.

Clergy-Laity Congress: In reference to the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress in Atlanta, GA in July 2010, the importance of the theme Gather My People to My Home – Come and See was underscored, as well as a need for a wider participation of parishes.  A more direct involvement of the Members of the Holy Eparchial Synod in the analysis and application on the theme of the Clergy-Laity Congress was planned by means of a special meeting to be convened at its commencement.

Finally, the Holy Eparchial Synod designated September 19 of this year as a day of commemoration of the Asia Minor Holocaust, by organizing lectures and special programs for this purpose.  The members of the Holy Eparchial Synod had the opportunity to participate in the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council in the afternoon of April 19.

From the Office of the Holy Eparchial Synod

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