Orthodoxy in Ireland
an article for the sixth anniversary of the opening of the first
Orthodox church in Dublin
© Gregory Strachan
4. Orthodox community life
Our church in Dublin is the home of all Orthodox. But Greeks being the majority of our parishioners, it has been our endeavour to keep up the best of relation with the Greek Embassy, the Consulate of Cyprus and the Hellenic Society - now represented by His Excellency Mr. Tzounis, Mr. John Moussoulides and Mr. Harry Mouradides. The life of our parish compenetrates these institutions because members of them are simultaneously members of the parish, which today numbers about two hundred souls.
On Good Friday we have the usual public processions. The greatest feast of all then gives occasion for all our faithful to gather at a paschal meal. Thus our first Pascha, 1982, was cerebrated at Mr. Crete Restaurant in Rathmines; Pascha 1983 at the house of Dr. Ioannides; 1984, at Mr. Keily's house at Wexford; 1985, at Niamh Corbally's house in Artane; 1986 and 1987 at the Tree of Idleness, the Greek Restaurant in Bray.
After each Liturgy, coffee and tea are served in the church hall so that parishioners may meet and discuss together.
5. Orthodox witness in Ireland
Conscious of the Orthodox Church's universality, from the first we have used Greek, Slavonic, Romanian and English in the Liturgy, thus making divine service intelligible not only to all our own parishioners but also to our numerous visitors.
At the conclusion of every Divine Liturgy an address, usually of a catechetical nature, is given by the priest, who also makes himself available to groups or individuals desircus of learning more about Orthodox.
In addition great number of talks, formal or informal, illustrated by icons are given by the priest at schools and colleges all over Ireland.
We participate in major ecclesiastical events, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, such as the installation of archbishops, funerals ans various public meetings.
In the context of religious conflicts in Ireland the Orthodox faith, approaches our brethren, Catholic and Protestant, with dedicated love. As we pray at every Divine Liturgy, "For the welfare of the holy Churches of God and the union of all men …, for this city and every city and land and for those who live in them by faith, let us pray to the Lord". We also join in the Week of prayer for Christian Unity.
To conclude, by professing the Orthodox faith and striving to lead an Orthodox life, our parish on the farthest edge of Europe bears witness in word and deed to Christian truth, glorifying the one true God in Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.