On Sunday, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel performed the consecration of Șerban Vodă Church in Bucharest, following the restoration work carried out in recent years.
During his homily delivered Sept. 24, His Beatitude reflected on the tie existing between a place of worship and heaven.
The heavenly gate that was consecrated today is an earthly place, but one that has a special tie with heavens. St Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople, said that a painted Orthodox church represents an earthly heaven, in order to elevate spiritually humans to heaven, the patriarch said.
Insisting on the importance and the value of a church, Patriarch Daniel pointed to the unperishable gifts that we receive from God in the Church.
The Church is the only place on earth where we receive forgiveness of sins in order to acquire eternal life. The second great gift is the gladness of eternal life, the gladness of the Kingdom of Heaven, granted to us as a provision in this world. In the Church, we also receive the foretaste of eternal life, he said.
His Beatitude went on to refer to the prayer we offer in the Church, saying that it is stronger because it is offered in communion with all the saints depicted on the walls of the church.
For his efforts to complete the restoration works, parish priest Dinu Pompiliu was presented with the Patriarchal Cross, the highest distinction in the Romanian Patriarchate.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel was presented with a mosaic icon depicting the Mother of God with Child Jesus, as a sign of gratitude for his support.
Before the consecration ceremony, His Grace Timotei of Prahova, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, celebrated the Sunday Divine Liturgy at Șerban Vodă Church. The church is dedicated to the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, and to Saints Nicholas the Wonderworker and Paisius Velichkovsky of Neamț.
Credit: Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro