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OCMC News - Opening of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Albania

by Emily Walker (Posted 7/3/2012)

OCMC News - Opening of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Albania
The Resurrection of Christ Cathedral was opened in Tirana, Albania on June 24, 2012.

After eight years of construction, the new Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, the main temple of the Albanian Orthodox Church, was opened on June 24, 2012. It is the third largest Orthodox Church in Europe. The date also marked the 20 year anniversary of the enthronement of His Beatitude Anastasios as Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania. In addition to Archbishop Anastasios, others present for the occasion were Albania’s President Bamir Topi, and representatives from various foreign embassies. Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Archbishop Nikon of the Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of New England and Albanian Archdiocese, and OCMC Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi were joined by many other religious leaders for the event as well.

Reflecting on the opening, Fr. Martin shared, "It is remarkable and truly miraculous to see that after only 20-years the Church in Albania has returned with glory and splendor. We are thankful that the Orthodox faith, once suppressed, is now able to share Christ's message of love and the hope of salvation with the people of Albania."

The cathedral, once in the heart of Tirana, was moved to a remote area and then shut down altogether during Communist rule. The new Cathedral has been rebuilt in the central square of Tirana - a true symbol of the triumph of the Church. The celebration of the Church reclaiming its place in Albania's center included an Opening of the Doors service. Thousands of believers attended the event to see the beautiful Cathedral that honors Christ, the Orthodox faith, Tirana and the nation of Albania. The cathedral complex is made of up several different parts including a cultural and conference center, an amphitheater and library. The cultural center hosted a concert on the evening of the Cathedral's opening. The concert consisted of The Orchestra of the National Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Cathedral Choir, the Byzantine Choir, the choir of the Theological Academy and the youth group of the Children’s Home of Hope all performing.

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God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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