This year’s Holy Friday and Holy Saturday were special for Greeks across the globe but also for the Greek Orthodox community of Izmir, Turkey, since this year, from Holy Thursday evening until Easter Sunday morning, all the liturgical ceremonies, including the Resurrection Liturgy, will be held in the city for the first time in 93 years at St. Voukolos church, which survived the Asia Minor catastrophe. The church was restored four years ago and on August 15, 2014, the faithful were able to attend the service at the church.
After restoring the church, the municipality of Izmir granted the Orthodox Community the chance to perform another liturgy on St. Voukolos day (February 6). The liturgy was performed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
This year, Holy Friday coincided with the commemoration of St. Dimos, who was a martyr in Izmir.
On Holy Friday morning, Archimandrite Cyril performed the Great Hours and Vespers liturgy, as well as the Descent from the Cross Ceremony.
Archimandrite Cyril, with his excellent knowledge of Byzantine music, contributed in creating a solemn atmosphere and held the procession of the Cross. After the Cross was placed in the center, he proceeded to read the Twelve Gospels for the Holy Friday Matins and the theological hymns.