The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison, his wife Jenny Morrison and New South Wales Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Jeff Lee, attended Easter service at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Resurrection of the Christ in the Sydney suburb of Kogarah.
The service was led by Archbishop Makarios, who walked the Australian Prime Minister and his wife Jenny to the alter, where he was seated beside Dr Geoff Lee MP.
Member of Parliament Mr Mark Coure; the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Martha Mavromatis; and the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Chris Karras with his wife Katia Gikiza, Economic Affairs Adviser and Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General in Sydney; also attended the night liturgy.
The Prime Minister of Australia took part in the mass, lighting a candle.
This is a special part of the Orthodox Easter service where the church goes completely dark and quiet. Eventually, the priest lights the first candle and before long the church is illuminated with the light of everyone’s candles, symbolising the Light of Jesus.
Following the Anastasi processions inside the church, Archbishop Makarios led the congregation to a podium outside, where over 1,000 Greek Orthodox people began sharing the Holy Fire.
The Australian Prime Minister addressed the crowd, taking the microphone saying, "Christ is Risen.'
Scott Morrison thanked the Archbishop for his service and spoke about the importance of the holy fire as the “light within the darkness.”
“We stand here in a place, amongst the faithful, in this parish, which has always been a place of hope,” the Prime Minister said.
"…each of you as you hold that light, it symbolises your own unique significance… and as I see the lights all making one, I see a wonderful community."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison greeted Archbishop Makarios, warmly shaking hands, and in the same manner, also greeted the crowd and children at the mass.
“Your presence is a testament to us all. It validates our contribution to Australia and reiterates that both Orthodox and the Greek people are very much part of the Australian society,” Archbishop Makarios said to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“I take this opportunity to thank you not only for being here tonight, but for all your efforts during the pandemic.”
The Archbishop also thanked the Australian PM for his “warm welcome” when he arrived as the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia.
"Jenny and I were pleased to be able to join his Eminence Archbishop Makarios at the Greek Orthodox Parish's Easter Service in Kogarah, Sydney last night," the statement reads.
"Across Australia, the Orthodox Christian community has shown great strength and unity in the face of great challenges over the past year.
"It was lovely to see families and loved ones coming together once again to celebrate Orthodox Easter and also looking forward with a renewed sense of optimism and hope for the future."
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios
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