Clergy and Laity Gather for First Ever Midwest Regional Oriental Orthodox Concelebrated Liturgy
Cleveland, OH – H.G. Abune Makarios, Bishop of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, Diocese of North America, Europe, and the Middle East led ten priests, dozens of deacons, and hundreds of faithful in the Midwest’s first ever regional concelebration of the Divine Liturgy last Saturday, April 25, 2015 at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church. His Grace celebrated the Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil in English, allowing for the incorporation of hymns from the Armenian and Ge’ez traditions into the service. Abouna Mikhail E. Mikhail and Abouna Marcos Gali were the hosting priests. Der Hratch Sargsyan, of nearby St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Apostolic Church delivered the homily. Prayers were offered for the souls of the recent Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Coptic Martyrs of Libya during the service, and a special commemoration acknowledging the newly sainted Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide was also made.
The Liturgy was followed by a conference the theme of which was “Solidarity in the Face of Persecution” at which attendees were treated to edifying lectures on the Armenian Genocide and the present persecution of the Eritrean Church and the refugee crisis it has produced by Dr. Douglass S. Kerr, M.D., Ph.D. and Fr. Athanasius Ghebre-Ab, Ph.D. respectively. A brief talk introducing the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches and its work – including a discussion of its newly-minted college campus ministry, OCCM, and its youth organization, SCOOYA – was also made by the organization’s Assistant Secretary, Dn. Nicholas Siniari of the Coptic Orthodox Church. This is the first time that the Standing Conference has initiated an event in the Midwest, and its efforts were enthusiastically received by the local populace, who were manifestly hungry for and desirous of pan-Oriental Orthodox fellowship. The Standing Conference prays that this event serve as a catalyst for more such gatherings and the development of greater Oriental Orthodox unity in the region.
The participating clergy were:
- H.G. Abune Makarios, Bishop of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church Diocese of North America, Europe and the Middle East
- V. Rev. Fr. Mikhail E. Mikhail, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Cleveland, OH
- V. Rev. Fr. Melake Ganet Philipos Zegene, Debre Ganet Kidus Teklahaimanot Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Detroit, MI
- V. Rev. Fr. Marcos Gali, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Cleveland, OH
- V. Rev. Fr. Geevarghese Kunnath, St. Basil’s Syriac Orthodox Church, Cleveland, OH
- V. Rev. Fr. Merigeta Tesfaldet Kidane, Holy Trinity Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, Cincinnati, OH
- Rev. Fr. Melake Selam Yared Gebremedhin, Debre Selam Kidus Gabriel Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Columbus, OH
- Rev. Fr. Binoy Thattankunnel, St. Basil’s Syriac Orthodox Church, Cleveland, OH and St. Ephraim Knanaya Orthodox Church, Madison Heights, MI
- Rev. Fr. Hratch Sargsyan, St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Apostolic Church, Cleveland, OH
- Rev. Fr. Solomon Bogale, Debre Ganet Kidus Teklahaimonot Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Detroit, MI
- Rev. Fr. Athanasius Ghebre-Ab, Holy Trinity Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, Cincinnati, OH
Photos of the event are available here.