Photos by Vadim Nester
The traditional Pan-Orthodox Vespers was celebrated on the first Sunday in Lent at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom in Bayswater, London. His Grace, Bishop Athanasios of Tropaeou, presided in place of His Eminence, Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain. Archimandrite Theonas (Balkalis), the senior priest of the Cathedral, was principal celebrant, and clergy from all ten dioceses of the Local Orthodox Churches represented in London concelebrated. Despite the unseasonably cold weather, a large crowd of worshippers comfortably filled the Cathedral.
The chanters of the host Cathedral together with the choirs of the Antiochian, Russian, Serbian, Romanian and Georgian cathedrals sang the service in their respective languages. The address was delivered by Archimadrite Chrysostomos (Michaelides). At the end of the service, there was a procession with the holy icons, commemorating the dogmatic definition of the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787 AD concerning the veneration of icons and the restoration of the icons to the churches by the Empress Theodora in 843 AD.
After the service, everyone present was invited to a splendid Lenten meal in the Cathedral crypt.