The 10th of November 2011 was a very special day in the history of the Orthodox church in Chios. The special thing about this event is, that it just takes place every 40 or 50 years because an Archbishop keeps his position for a lifetime.
After the death of the old Archbishop in the summer of 2011, a new one had been selected to take his place and to be the new head of the Orthodox community of Chios, Psara and Oinousses Island. His name is Markos Vasilakis and he was born and raised in Chios, so he was already well- or even personally-known by many community members. On this day, the central square of Chios City was fully crowded as many people wanted to welcome the new Archbishop. Besides a big audience, there was a group of soldiers to represent the army, some school classes, some groups of scouts, a marching band and priests from all over Greece.
The ceremony started with a speech and a prayer of the Archbishop. Afterwards, all of the people that were in the central square started to go on a procession to the central church of Chios, which was leading through the center. The Archbishop and his entourage of priests were proceeding slowly so that everyone had the opportunity to see him properly. When reaching the church, the main ceremony took place and was lasting for two hours. The church was so fully crowded because so many people wanted to experience this special event. During the ceremony, Markos Vasilakis was receiving the blessing and the equipment which made him become the new Archbishop of Chios.
Not just for us this had been a unique experience, but also for the local community members. It had been very impressive to see this ceremony filled with passion for religion. More over this experience made us even more familiar with the Greek culture, which is closely connected with religion.
To see all the photos go into our gallery!