West Orange, NJ – On Saturday, September 23, 2023, the Bishops of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCh) resumed the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy after a hiatus of several years brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Liturgy was hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Petros and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Archdiocese of New York and Its Surrounding Regions at Dabre Ganet Amanuel Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. His Eminence was unable to attend in person and delegated the priest of the parish – the Very Reverend Father Aregawi – to serve as the chief celebrant in his stead, which he did with the blessings of the visiting bishops.
Leading the Liturgy along with Abba Aregawi were His Grace Bishop David, President of SCOOCh and Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England, His Eminence Mor Dionysios John Kawak of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the Eastern United States, His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Makarios, General Bishop Overseeing the Canonical Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church in North America, His Grace Bishop Gabriel, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and the Very Reverend Father Taniel Karadjian representing the Very Reverend Father Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern). Also in attendance were a great many priests, deacons, and faithful from each of the Oriental Orthodox traditions.
After the Divine Liturgy, conducted as always according to the rite of the hosting jurisdiction, each of the bishops and Fathers Aregawi and Taniel were presented with hand crosses and the assembled faithful were treated to the traditional hymnody and chanting of the Ethiopian Church. This was followed by a delicious meal of traditional Ethiopian food.
The Bishops of SCOOCh hope, pray, and expect to resume the regular Concelebration of the Divine Liturgy annually, along with other related events. In fact, St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church of Wynnewood, PA will host a Concelebrated LIturgy and Prayer for the suffering people of Artsakh in one month’s time on October 21, 2023, which will likewise mark the resumption of regular, annual concelebrations in that region. Mark your calendars and watch this space for the announcement of other SCOOCh events.
Photos of the Concelebrated Liturgy provided courtesy of Christian Azarias.