With temperatures hovering around negative 15 degrees Celsius, His Eminence Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia made his seventh pastoral visit to Reykjavik, Iceland on the weekend of January 14-15, 2023 for epiphany and cutting of vasilopita.
Accompanied by the Very. Reverand Archimandrite Alexandros Loukatos, Presiding Priest of the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Oslo, Metropolitan Cleopas went to see the parishioners of the Mother Church of Constantinople who live and work in Reykjavik.
He personally exchanged holiday wishes with them for the new year.
According to the most recent statistics, the number of faithful is now approaching 600 persons.
The two clergymen arrived in Reykjavik on January 14, where they were met at the airport by the Honorary Consul of Greece in Iceland Mr. Rafn Alexander Sigurdsson.
That evening, the Metropolitan and Father Alexandros attended a dinner at a local restaurant kindly offered by their hosts Mr. Sigurdsson and his wife Mrs. Anna Juliana Sveinsdottir. The next day, Metropolitan Cleopas celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Rev. Friðrik Friðriksson chapel.
He was assisted by Father Alexandros.
In his sermon, the Metropolitan spoke about the day’s Gospel reading, noting the ungratefulness of the nine lepers and the gratitude of the tenth, who returned to praise and thank God for the great gift He offered him.
He reminded the faithful that “glorifying God occupies one of the central positions in our liturgical tradition, which is why the angels, apostles, martyrs, and all the saints praise and glorify God ceaselessly and always call on every faithful to join them in this doxological outlook and relationship during every moment of their lives.”
Afterward, Metropolitan Cleopas celebrated the service of the blessing of the water for Epiphany, cut the parish’s vasilopita, and churched two newborn babies, Olga and Athanasios, who are children of families living in Reykjavik.
He also extended his paternal wishes for the new year and expressed his joy for the opportunity to communicate and interact with the growing flock of the St. Bartholomew the Apostle Parish in Reykjavik.
The Metropolitan especially expressed his gratitude to Mr. Sigurdsson for his unwavering support in organising the pastoral visits to Reykjavik, to Father Alexandros and the Metropolitan Church in Oslo for their touching contribution to the ministry of the Holy Metropolis and the Metropolitan’s missionary visits, as well as to Mrs. Vaso Katsarou, a council member of the aforementioned parish, for offering the vasilopita and the reception that followed for all the faithful in attendance.
Aside from the aforementioned persons, Mr. Evangelos Demetropoulos, President of the Hellenic Society of Iceland, parish members, and newly arrived brethren from Greece also attended the liturgical gathering.
That afternoon, Metropolitan Cleopas and Fr. Alexandros met with parish council members and parish members, with the president of the Hellenic Society of Iceland also participating in the meeting.
On Monday morning, January 16th, Metropolitan Cleopas returned to the see of his eparchy in Stockholm, while Fr. Alexandros returned to Oslo.
READ MORE: NEPOMAK REMEMBERS MISSING PERSONS AT CHRISTMAS.