The weekend began with the celebration of Hierarchical Vespers on Saturday evening, then proceeded with the consecration of the building on Sunday morning, followed by Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence remarked, "For us as Orthodox Christians, salvation is union with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This union with the Lord is called 'Life in Christ'. The center of this 'Life in Christ' is the Holy Altar..... The Consecration 'changes' an ordinary building into the House of God. This takes place through the grace of the Holy Spirit.... Standing before the holy relics of the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, we beseeched the Lord, Who had granted His Holy Martyrs to fight the good fight, to grant to us, His unworthy servants, to have a part and inheritance with them, that being followers of them we may also obtain the good things which await them."
The Consecration Procession was especially blessed by a direct gift from St. Herman - a snow shower that lasted only as long as the procession around the building! After placing the relics into the Holy Table, His Eminence blessed thirty sets of Antimens on the newly consecrated altar for later use in our Holy Diocese.
The eventful weekend concluded with a wonderful meal served in the building's new parish hall. The faithful of St. Herman's are ever-grateful to His Eminence for coming to consecrate our building. All of us are also grateful to our spiritual parents, the faithful of St. Thomas in Fairlawn, OH, including Fr. Vlado Bakurdzhiev Fr. Dn. James Waletenberger, and many parishioners who came to celebrate the event with us.