Archbishop Makarios Anastasi 2024

“Christ is Risen” proclaimed in the ‘heart’ of Sydney in the presence of the Prime Minister of Australia

Archbishop Makarios Anastasi 2024

The Greeks of Sydney, together with Orthodox Christians of other ethnic backgrounds, celebrated with great magnificence and reverence the glorious Resurrection of Christ.

The main celebration was held at the celebrating Church of the Resurrection of Christ in the Kogarah area, where thousands of worshipers flocked reverently, despite the heavy rain. His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia presided over the Resurrection Service and the Festive Divine Liturgy, and was joined in concelebration by Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia, Proistamenos of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ.

A multitude of representatives of Australia’s political leadership attended, from both the federal and state levels, led by the country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Anthony Albanese. On his arrival, Mr. Albanese was warmly received by the Archbishop, to whom he characteristically declared: “It is an honour to be here tonight, my dear friend.”

Also present were Mr. Dimitrios Kouvelas, member of the Hellenic Parliament, His Excellency Mr. Stavros Venizelos, Ambassador of Greece to Australia, as well as his wife, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, Consul General of Greece in Sydney, also with his wife, Ms. Linda Burney, Federal Minister for Indigenous Australian Affairs, Mr. Steve Kamper, NSW Minister for Small Business, Lands and Property, Multiculturalism and Sport, Mr. David Coleman, Federal MP and former Minister, Mr. Mark Coure, State MP and former NSW Minister, Mr. Sam Elmir, Mayor of Georges River, and others.

At 12 midnight, in an atmosphere of deep reverence, His Eminence chanted the joyous proclamation: “Christ is risen from the dead…”, in front of the gathered crowd in the courtyard of the church. During his resurrection message, he explained that after the Resurrection of our Lord, i.e. the victory of life over death, Orthodox believers are no longer afraid of death. “The man who believes in the Resurrection of Christ”, he underlined, “sees death approaching and is taught”. “Death teaches us that it is urgent to love one another,” he added, “and not to leave this life being bitter among ourselves.” Furthermore, he emphasised that whoever believes in the Resurrection of the Lord, does not consider that with death everything ends and all is lost, but that “the sweet dawn arrives and something beautiful commences”.

In closing, His Eminence wholeheartedly thanked the faithful who defied the adverse weather conditions and came en masse to the “feast of feasts” of Orthodoxy, proving, once again, their devotion to the treasures of Faith and Nation. In addition, he thanked the Australian Prime Minister, Mr. Anthony Albanese for his presence at the resurrection service, for his appreciation of the Orthodox faith and for his continued support for Greeks in Australia.

Taking to the microphone, the Prime Minister offered a warm greeting to Archbishop Makarios and the Greeks who were all gathered, glorifying the Greek Orthodox tradition and Greek culture, highlighting the contribution of the Greeks to the progress of the Australian Nation. “It is my great joy to participate in the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ,” he noted, adding that “we are witnessing a living and very beautiful tradition.”

In fact, he made a special reference to Easter customs observed by the Greek Orthodox of Australia and congratulated everyone for their transmission from generation to generation. “Greek culture is a gift to all of Australia”, he pointed out with emphasis, adding that “our modern multicultural society is much richer with your contribution”. Finally, he underlined the significant role of the Church, which unites people, as he observed, promotes the spirit of love in society and carries out valuable charitable work.

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