The festal celebration of the Universal Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross was held at the Athoniada Ecclesiastical Academy, on September 27 (September 14 Old Style). Matins for the feast was sung first and this was followed by the ceremony of the Elevation of the Precious Cross, performed by the President of the School Board, Hieromonk George Vatopaidinos.
There followed a splendid Divine Liturgy, served by a number of priests, with the President of the Board as the senior celebrant.
At Matins and the festal Divine Liturgy, the choir was made up of students from the School, under the direction of the teacher of Byzantine music, Ioannis Parthenopoulos.
After the Divine Liturgy, there followed the official ceremony of the Blessing of the new school year, which began on Monday 12 September. Present at the ceremony were the First Supervisor (the ‘Protos’), Elder Varnavas Vatopaidinos, the members of the Holy Supervisory Committee (Hieromonks Filotheos Koutloumousianos, Iosif Karakallinos and Filimon Stavronikitianos), Father Nifon, the representative of the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou, a member of the School Board, the Civil Governor of the Holy Mountain, Mr. Aristos Kasmiroglou, representatives of the local authorities, of the police and fire services, many monks and lay pilgrims, the Head of the Academy, Mr. Dimitrios Dimakis, the faculty, students and the rest of the staff of the School.
The Blessing was performed by Hieromonk Ieronymos, the representative of the Holy Monastery of Simonopetra.