Holy Mount Athos - Inauguration of the Church of the Kelli of the Precious Cross at Provata, on the Holy Mountain
The Holy Relics, with which the church was inaugurated, were covered and placed on the chalice and paten on the altar.
Churches are always inaugurated by a prelate, in this case Metropolitan Ioakeim of Elenoupolis, of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Preparation of the material for the inauguration, that is the kiromastikha, which consists of pure wax, mastic, frankincense, aloe, incense, resin and ladanum (rock rose), which symbolize the myrrh with which Joseph of Arimathea anointed Christ’s body.
Ceremony of the Blessing of the Water, which, in accordance with kelliote tradition, took place during Mattins.
Choir of monks from the Monastery of Karakallou, whose sonorous, dulcet singing enhanced the occasion. A veritable feast of Athonite music.
Exiting the church for the procession with the Holy Relics. They were carried three times round the kelli and during this time three Gospels were read.
The metropolitan uncovering the Holy Relics, which were on the chalice and paten, in order to proceed with the inauguration.
After the relics had been placed in the hole in the altar, the hot kiromastikha was poured onto them.
Icons of the four Evangelists, printed on linen cloths, were placed on the four corners of the altar.
‘They parted my garments among themselves’ After being dipped in the kiromastikha, the alb worn by the metropolitan during the sanctification would be given to those present at the service, as a blessing.
Metropolitan Ioakeim, with Hieromonk Ignatios, the typikaris or monk in charge of the ceremonies, on his left, together with others who were present at the services, enjoying the refreshments provided with love and care by Hieromonk David, the renovator of the kelli of the Precious Cross.
The splendid choir of monks from Karakallou sang as the metropolitan blessed those present and the kelli itself.
As a token of his gratitude, Hieromonk David presented Metropolitan Ioakeim with a wooden icon of Our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God, which he had made himself, wood-carving being one of the crafts practiced in the kelli.