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60th Anniversary Rockford, IL - Sunday Oct 15, 2017

On Sunday, October 15, 2017, His Grace, Bishop Gregory presided over the Consecration of the new Altar Table and blessing of newly installed iconography at Christ The Savior Church in Rockford, IL in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the parish's founding.
Parish President Paula Grady offered the traditional bread and salt to His Grace as he enters the church to begin the consecration service.
An old tradition of this parish has been to hold flower stems to welcome the hierarch of the church and founding member who held flowers over 30 years ago held them again today for His Grace Bishop Gregory.
The younger visitors watching attentively.
The relics of saints to be placed in the altar with wax are upon the table. This altar is made of marble from the Holy Land and was a recent offering in memory of a founding member who has fallen asleep in the Lord.
The procession of the relics of saints begins the consecration service.
The relics are sealed with holy chrism and placed in a cavity within the the altar soon to be sealed with wax and the names of the departed family members of the founders of this parish.
His Grace seals the relics and names.
The seal is made secure and all excess wax is scraped away.
The consecration of an altar and church is much like a baptism, the altar is now washed with warm water and soap.
Every part of the altar is cared for.
Now Chrism is poured over the altar and cleaned with the antimensia, a special cloth given by Bishops to parishes as the approval to offer divine services within the parish. This is a very ancient tradition of the Church.
His Grace showing and explaining the Antimension.
All of the visiting clergy help with spreading and cleaning the Holy Chrism upon the newly consecrated altar.
The Altar Table is now covered with the "Katasarkion". This white linen cloth represents the Lord's burial shroud.
The church is now censed.
The walls of the church many icons are all chrismated with the symbol of the cross by His Grace Bishop Gregory.
With an altar and church that are newly consecrated we can begin the Divine Liturgy.
His Grace Bishop Gregory blessed Father Jonathan with the Ophekia (rank) of Stavrophoros (Cross bearer) today
It was a joyous weekend with His Grace Bishop Gregory and many priests, their Pani's and members of visiting communities.
A reception was organized by the parish Sisterhood group and so many of these ladies young and older helped serve the Bishop and all our guests.
OCF students from Northern University attended this event and spoke with His Grace Bishop Gregory. One student is visiting from Greece.