Bringing with him the paternal blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos, His Grace Bishop Demetrios celebrated the First Resurrection on Holy Saturday morning at the parish of Saint Luke the Evangelist in Columbia, Missouri. As a new parish, begun only 9 1/2 years ago, this marked the first time that a hierarch visited and participated in the services of Holy Week at Saint Luke.

It is customary at this bright and festal service to throw bay leaves and flowers throughout the Church in anticipation of our Lord's passing over (Pascha) from death to life, to be celebrated at the Paschal Vigil at midnight.

In response to the community's recent purchase of 20 acres of land for a purpose-built Orthodox Church, His Grace urged the congregation to be vigilant in their efforts to spread Christ's Gospel of love and reconciliation throughout mid-Missouri. He reminded the congregation that in order to build strong buildings, we must first kindle the Resurrectional Light within our hearts in response to our own love and dedication to the Lord. 

With His grace were His assistant, Dean Kartsimas and Panagiotis Katsikeros, visiting chanter from Greece.